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Poison Prevention Week: Household Medication Safety

This is a guest post by Martha Bonnie for Poison Prevention Week (March 14-20). If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.

Did you know that over 80% of accidents in the home occur in the bathroom? Wet floors, cleaning chemicals, prescription and over the counter medications, to name just a few of those hazards. Do your part to minimize accidents in your own home and those of your friends, families and patients.

Recently, while visiting a family member out-of-town, I noted that my relative had his prescription medications lined up on the counter where my children could easily reach the bottles. Because this relative lives alone, he asks the pharmacy to put on caps that are easy to open and not childproof. Within moments, my children could easily open, ingest and poison themselves with his heart and blood pressure medications. A short conversation advising him of the potential dangers, resulted in the medications being put into a locked cabinet safely out of the reach of curious hands.

Other ways to prevent accidents in the bathroom include:

  • Set your water temperature to no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Close your toilet seat, if you have young children
  • Put away or lock all medications, cleaning supplies, razors, and adult toiletries
  • Remove electrical appliances, such as hair dryers and curling irons, from the bathroom
  • Never leave a child unattended in a bathtub
Take a moment to assess your own bathrooms and remember to kindly educate your friends, family members and patients with polite and informative conversations about bathroom safety.
Learn more about poison prevention week and a host of training and education resources at
Poisons and Toxins CE Training
Anything ingested, inhaled, absorbed or injected in a great enough amount can be poisonous. How you treat patients who have been poisoned depends on the type of poison, the route of transmission, its effects, and what additional life threats they have suffered. In this RapidCE lesson, we will define poisons, explore the routes of transmission and discuss general medical care for patients who have been poisoned.

By Greg Friese

Greg Friese, Stevens Point, Wisconsin, is an author, educator, paramedic, and marathon runner.

Greg was the co-host of the award winning EMSEduCast podcast, the only podcast by and for EMS educators. Greg has written for,, Wilderness Medical Associates, JEMS Magazine, and EMS World Magazine, and the NAEMSE Educator Newsletter.