With three kids under the age of six, we’ve obviously gone through different stages of development at varying times. I’ll be the first to admit that there’s nothing sweeter than being able to take those baby gates down, instead of trying to be a hero, high-stepping and dragging your undercarriage across the plastic, mesh or metal. There’s nothing that rings freedom like not having to put EVERYTHING you’re holding down on the floor, so you can free up both arthritic hands (I used to crack my knuckles in middle school) to squeeze and press the zip-tie baby lock to open up your home office.
Yes, those things are all a pain in the ass. However, the reality is that they save lives. Okay, perhaps I’m being a little dramatic telling you that a baby gate is saving lives – it’s probably saving your own sanity more… but the door and cabinet locks are another thing.
We got to a certain point a few months ago where we didn’t need to worry about Ava or Charlie getting into the cleaners under the sink or the over-the-counter cold, flu, allergy and headache meds in the bathroom cabinet – they were old enough to understand that kids don’t take medicine without asking mom or dad first. The new assault was occurring on the snack pantry. It was a relentless attack to get to the goldfish, animal crackers and gummi’s. Not to mention my stash of Samoa’s and Mom’s personal trove of Oreos…
It was time to move the cabinet locks to PROTECT THE JUNK FOOD.
That is, until Mason started to get curious. He’s a little over 2 years old and as you probably know, this is high time for exploring, pushing and pulling chairs and step-stools around the house, accessing new terrain and with it, obtaining its’ spoils.
About a month ago, before I reinstalled the baby gates around the house, I was on my phone in the living room and we were all watching a movie. Mason had disappeared, which is normal and I usually give him about thirty seconds after calling his name repeatedly to return to the room. If he’s not back, I get up and lead the search party. This particular day, in that thirty seconds, he had gone into the kitchen and pushed a bar stool up to the refrigerator. He managed to open the door without me hearing it, pull a package of white chocolate probiotics from the butter shelf and had eaten three of them before I caught him.
I got off easy.
This could’ve been much worse.
This could’ve been anything. It could’ve been the cabinet adjacent to the fridge. It could’ve been ibuprofen, antihistamine or I could’ve found him chugging rubbing alcohol. This stuff happens in the ‘blink of an eye’.
Did you know that approximately 60,000 children visit the ER every year due to accidental medicine ingestion? According to SafeKids, “half of the 2 million calls to poison control centers in 2011 were for exposures and ingestions among kids 5 and under.”
How would I feel if something happened to my kids and I didn’t take appropriate measures to prevent it? How would you feel if something happened to your children?
Given that this is National Poison Prevention Week, I’m asking every parent reading this set aside time THIS WEEK to double check that your medicines are stored safely up, away and out of sight of kids. This isn’t just an important issue for when you are home but it matters when you are traveling, with medicines in your suitcase or purse, it matters when you stay with friends or families, especially Grandparents. To learn more, check out Up & Away for more information and tips.
Lastly, while you’re doing this, TAKE A PICTURE of your medicine cabinet or safe storage in your linen closet, etc. and post it on Instagram. FOLLOW and TAG @KnowYourOTCs and use the #MedsUpAway tag anytime between now and Friday, March 25th and you’ll be automatically entered to win a $100 VISA gift card. The winner will be chosen randomly and announced on the @KnowYourOTCs Instagram feed on Wednesday, March 30th.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a sponsored post in association with the CHPA Educational Foundation’s KnowYourOTCs program, however, this story and these opinions are my own. This is important stuff!