Just last week, I left my toddler eating his snack in the kitchen for a few momentsonly to return to find him standing on the kitchen counter with a bottle of children’s vitamins in his hand. I had no idea that he had vitamins on his mind when I left the room, nor that he could so quickly and easily access these things I purposefully keep on a high shelf in the cupboard. Has this happened to you?
And now we pack our bags.
Let’s face it: pills, vitamins, even medicated creams and ointments, are often left in easy-to-remember places–especially in homes without young children. Before traveling to Nana’s this summer, it’s worth asking, “Where?” and having a potentially life-saving conversation with your hosts about how and where any prescription drugs, over-the-counter remedies, pet medications, and vitamins will be stored to ensure they are out of the reach and, just as important, out of the sight of your child during your visit.
I also wanted to pass along these helpful tips and reminders provided by the PROTECT Initiative* on exactly this topic. And after you run through them yourself, you may want to forward them on to your friends and relatives (especially the ones you’ll be staying with this summer!).
1. When packing for a trip, keep your medicines in their original child-resistant containers. Other containers, such as pill organizers and baggies, often lack child safety features and can be easily accessed by young children.
2. While staying in a hotel, secure your medicines and vitamins in a location that your children cannot see or reach, such as a high cabinet or passcode-protected hotel room safe.
3. As a guest in another person’s home, do not be shy about asking them where to put your medicines and vitamins so they are out of the sight and reach of children.
4. Remember to never leave medicine or vitamins out on a table, countertop, or bedside table where your children could reach them no matter where you are – always make sure the caps are locked and put them away every time they are used.
5. Program the national Poison Help number, 1-800-222-1222, along with other emergency contact numbers into your cell phone, so they are available in case of an emergency.
For more helpful tips to keep little ones safe during homestays and other travels, see “Staying Safe (and Sane) with Friends and Family” in Chapter 2 of Travels with Baby, “Childproofing On the Go” in Chapter 10 of Travels with Baby, check out recommended Safety & Childproofing Products for Travel, and when you get there: Don’t forget the Checking in Safety Checklist in Take-Along Travels with Baby.
Yep, I’ve been there, done that, and here I am all over again.
* The PROTECT Initiative is a collaboration between the CDC and the CHPA Educational Foundation. Click here for more information.
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