Medication safety

Medication safety

Medicine Safety advice for parents and carers.

Medicine safety advice

Being safe with medicines applies to parents of both young and older children.

Below are some simple steps you can take to reduce the risk of accidental or intentional overdose:

Keep medicines secure at home

Store medication as per manufacturer’s instructions, medicines should be out of sight and reach of children whatever their age. Medicines are not just tablets but also include creams, patches, inhalers, and liquids etc.

Before giving a medicine

Ensure you:

  • have the right medicine
  • are giving it to the right person - for example not sharing prescribed medicines
  • have the right dose
  • give it at the right time  
  • follow the directions/ label

Other safety advice

Supervise the use of medicines, even with your teenagers. Remind them of the correct time to leave between doses, this includes paracetamol and ibuprofen.

Limit the amount of paracetamol and ibuprofen that you have in the house. It is illegal for under 16-year-olds to be sold painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen.

Apply caution around taking multiple medicines that have the same or similar ingredients e.g. many medicines for cough and colds contain paracetamol. Ask at your local pharmacy if you are unsure.

Check the expiry of medicines as well as dispose of unneeded medications safely by returning them to your local pharmacy.

Ensure you know about the side effects, and potential risks of mixing medicines which might result in an overdose - this includes over the counter medicines.

Be aware of any unexpected deliveries or packages which could be medicines being bought on the internet.

Contact

You can contact or visit your local community pharmacy for help and support from a qualified healthcare professional for taking medicines. They provide a confidential consultation space to support with taking medicines or managing changes.

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