Are you a hazard to your grandkids?Did you know that 36 percent of childhood ingestion accidents related to prescriptions involve a grandparent’s medication?
By: By Mary Krueger, senior liaison, Alexandria Echo Press
Did you know that 36 percent of childhood ingestion accidents related to prescriptions involve a grandparent’s medication?
Prescriptions for older adults are some of the most toxic medications, posing the greatest threat of a tragic outcome if ingested by a child. Even the most loving grandparents can put their grandchildren in danger if they unknowingly overlook some very simple precautions.
When you are visiting a home with young children, make sure medications in your purse or suitcase are not available to children. Make sure your medications are in child-proof containers; most weekly pill reminders are not child proof.
If your grandchildren are visiting your home, keep all medication and household chemicals locked up. Avoid taking your medications in front of your grandchildren. They like to imitate what you do.
Older adults take more medications now than ever before. One reason is there are more medications needed for chronic conditions. Adults older than age 65 consume more than 30 percent of all medications prescribed and purchase 40 percent of all over-the-counter medications. The average adult older than 65 takes between two and seven prescription medications daily.
Following are some tips to help reduce drug reactions:
• Make sure medications are labeled and be sure and follow the instructions.
• Review all your medications with your physician or pharmacist every year.
• Make sure your primary physician is aware of all medications you are taking, including those prescribed by other doctors, herbals, over-the-counter drugs and dietary supplements.
• Avoid running out of your prescribed medications.
• Check the labels to find out what contraindications alcohol may have on your medications.
• Organize your medication schedule. Use a pill box if necessary.
• Take your medications at the correct time. If they are to be taken on an empty stomach, make sure you follow those instructions. If they are to be taken with food, be sure and do that, too.
• Make sure and take your medications for the duration in which they are meant.
• Never take more medication than prescribed.
• Never take a prescription that is left over from a spouse or other relative.
• Know what your medications look like.
• Keep medications in their original containers. Store them in a cool, dry place, away from bright light. Do not store them in the bathroom or the refrigerator unless you are instructed to.
• Never mix medications in the same container.
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We invite you to a free consultation with a registered and licensed pharmacist on May 10 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Public Works building in Alexandria. Appointments can be made by calling Mary at (320) 762-3047 or Deb at (320) 762-2974. Bring all your medications, prescription, herbal and over-the-counter to this free visit.