Medicines & Your Children




MYTH:It’s safe to “watch for” symptoms at home and then call for help if symptoms worsen.

FACT: Do not ignore any symptom


MYTH: Making a child vomit will prevent any absorption of the medicine and prevent harmful effects.

FACT: Induction of vomiting is dangerous and should only be done under medical supervision where applicable.


MYTH: Children cannot open containers that have child resistant caps.

FACT: The Gertrudes Poison Center gets many calls about children getting into containers that have child resistant caps; they are not childproof!


MYTH: Expired medicines lose their strength and are not harmful.

FACT: It’s impossible to predict the strength of expired medicine; they are harmful. 


Prevention Tips

    • 1. Keep all medicines in their original containers.


    • 2. Never refer to medicine as candy.


    • 3. Never take medicine in front of children. They love to imitate us.


    • 4. Do not keep medicine in purses, backpacks or diaper bags.


    • 5. Lock up medicines in a “med-safe”. A tackle box with a lock can be used instead.>


    • 6. Purchase the smallest available amount and keep track of the number of pills or amount of liquid used. Mark the level on the bottle of liquid after each use.


    • 7. Always put the light on when giving or taking medicine. Check the label and dosage every time.



More Tips

    • 1. If interrupted while taking or giving medicine, for example, a phone call or ringing doorbell, take the medicine or child with you to prevent an accident.


    • 2. Clean out the medicine cabinet often. Dispose of medications that are expired or no longer being used. Don’t flush medicine or put down the sink.


    • 3. Keep the medicine in the bottle with the child resistant cap on.


    • 4. Offer houseguests a child safe area for their medicine.


  • 5. When traveling with children, check your surroundings carefully to remove harmful medicines and vitamins.


Questions the Poison Center Specialist Will Ask:

    • Question 1. HOW is the child now?


    • Question 2. WHEN did this happen?


    • Question 3.HOW MUCH was taken? The Poison Center Specialist will help you with this.


    • Question 4. WHAT is the exact name and/or what are the active ingredients? Bring the container to the phone.


    • Question 5. Age, weight, general health, allergies, present medications?


    • Question 6. Any other substances taken?


    • Question 6. Your name, child’s name, address and phone number.Your information is confidential


Be Prepared:

• Have a measuring teaspoon available in case we need to have you measure the medicine that is left.

• A magnifying glass or reading glasses will help you read any fine print on the label.

• The Gertrudes Drug and Poison Information Center is open 24hrs daily, 365 days a year. Poison Specialists are always here to help you.