CDC, CHPA remind holiday travelers that medicines should be 'Up and Away and Out of Sight'

WASHINGTON — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Consumer Healthcare Products Association Educational Foundation, in partnership with the PROTECT Initiative, on Tuesday issued a reminder for Americans this holiday season about the importance of safe medicine storage at home and on-the-go, as part of the Up and Away and Out of Sight educational programs.

Annually, more than 60,000 young children age 5 or younger are treated in emergency departments for accidental ingestion of household medicines, according to Dan Budnitz, director of CDC’s Medication Safety Program. “Parents may not be aware of the danger posed by leaving medications where young children can reach or see them.”

As much as parents need to be careful during the busy holiday season, it is also important for grandparents to be particularly cautious about safe medicine storage. In a recent national survey by University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, nearly one out of every four grandparents said they store prescription medicines in easy-access places, including daily-dose boxes that children can easily open; 18% said they store over-the-counter medicines in easily accessible spots.

“Grandparents love when their grandchildren come to visit, but they may not realize their next dose of medicine left out on the counter could be a source of harm for their curious, young grandchild,” Budnitz said. “Whether traveling for the holidays, or hosting family members in the home, a few simple steps – followed every time – can keep children safe from harm.”

To learn more about safely storing medicines and vitamins at home and on-the-go, visit or in Spanish at


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