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Safe Kids in Action: Safe Kids Northeast Florida’s Medication Safety Program

Safe Kids Worldwide has a network of 400 coalitions around the United States, who work every day to keep kids in their communities healthy and safe. As part of our Safe Kids in Action series, Safe Kids will feature the incredible coordinators, teachers, nurses, doctors, first responders, business leaders, legislators and parents who make up our coalitions. In our inaugural segment, we are proud to highlight the heroes of Safe Kids Northeast Florida for their work in medication safety. Support for the development of the Medication Safety Program comes from McNeil Consumer Healthcare, the makers of Children's Tylenol®.

For more than 12 years, Safe Kids Northeast Florida has been keeping kids safe by finding creative solutions to reach families with the information they need most. One example is their medication safety program.

About 95 percent of the time a child goes to the emergency room for medicine poisoning, he or she got into the medicine when the parent wasn't looking[1]. Understanding this, Safe Kids Northeast Florida worked with local pharmacies to educate parents and grandparents about medication safety. The program includes giving families tip cards and medicine schedules when they pick up their medicine. This idea helped raise awareness about safely storing and giving medicine. Parents, grandparents and caregivers liked the medicine schedule because it gave them a way to accurately record what medicine to give their children, how much to give and when to give it.

Safe Kids Northeast Florida also uses the OTC Medicine Safety program to educate older kids about over-the-counter (OTC) medicine. They recently created an interactive spin the wheel game and worked with local public middle schools and YMCAs to teach medication safety to kids in a fun way.

While community programs are a great way to get families involved, Safe Kids Northeast Florida also understands the importance of using media to help spread the word. Registered nurse and Coordinator Cynthia Dennis teamed up with her local morning show in this segment to teach parents, grandparents and caregivers what they need to know about medication safety, highlighting the importance of safely storing all potentially harmful health products and remembering to move all medicine up and away and out of sight.

Thanks to Safe Kids Northeast Florida for all you do to help keep kids safe.

[1]Budnitz DS, Salis S. Preventing medication overdoses in young children: an opportunity for harm elimination. Pediatrics. 2011;127(6):e1597-1599.