Approximately every eight minutes in the US, a child goes to a hospital because of potential medicine poisoning. Most of these accidents are preventable and happen when curious young children get into medicine that is not kept high and out of sight. We work hard on a number of fronts to help prevent these accidents and keep children safe.
Educating parents and caregivers is the first line of defense in keeping medicine out of children’s hands. Parents and caregivers with the right information on how best to store, dose, and dispense medicines can play a significant role in decreasing the likelihood of curious young children getting into medicines. Simple steps, like putting medicines up and away and out of sight not only for storage, but after every use really can help protect children.
You can find best practices for parents and caregivers on our product and safety websites. We also support organizations like the Center for Disease Control on its PROTECT Initiative and “Up and Away” educational program and Safe Kids to further increase awareness. Today, best practices are even easier to find on the newly re-launched TYLENOL.com and GETRELIEFRESPONSIBLY.com websites. You’ll find helpful tips, graphics illustrating these tips, and a video of me demonstrating these practices.
Of course, there’s also the packaging itself. The Centers for Disease Control affirmed in a recent study that certain safety features on medicine packaging do make it more difficult for a child to get to the medicine. We take seriously our responsibility to develop packaging with safety features designed to slow a child’s access to medicines, and we have led our industry in bringing these important safety innovations to medicine bottles.
But “child-resistant” does not mean “child-proof.”
Keeping your children safe is as important to us as keeping our children safe. Together, we can help reduce the number of children who accidentally get into medicines. We hope you will adopt these safety tips for storing and using medicines in your home and share this information with your friends and loved ones.
Dr. Ed Kuffner has been with Johnson & Johnson since 2006, and in his seven years of service has had various roles within the Medical Affairs, Clinical Research and R&D functions of the companies. Most recently, Dr. Kuffner has led efforts in collaboration with industry partners and regulatory agencies to help educate consumers and healthcare professionals around safe use and storage of OTC medicines, particularly acetaminophen. Dr. Kuffner is passionate about his work at Johnson & Johnson because he used many J&J/McNeil Consumer Healthcare medicines in clinical practice and knows first-hand the benefits they bring to patients, consumers and healthcare professionals.