Babies and young children should never have access to any medicines (including over-the-counter medicines) or household chemicals. Among the many dangers of these items:
- Accidental ingestion and overdose
- Chemical burns on skin or eyes
Medicines and Chemicals: Tips & Tricks
Although medicines and chemicals are some of the most dangerous items to have around children, the good news is that they are also one of the easiest to babyproof. Why? These items should be locked up in a high, out of reach place. Ideally, these items will be stored in a space that:
- Is high enough that children cannot reach
- Has an extra layer of protection in place, such as being stored in an off-limits room, in a locked cabinet or in a locked bin. Remember that older toddlers and children like to climb, so don’t let height be your only safety measure for these items.
You should do a thorough search of your home and move all of these items to a safe place. Some common items to look out for are:
- Prescription and over-the-counter medication (including baby and toddler medications)
- Household cleaning chemicals
- Detergent and laundry packs (children love to eat these as they look like candy; ideally you should switch to liquid detergent options until your child is older)
- Pesticides and bug spray
Medicines & Chemicals: DIY Option
I’m starting with the DIY option here because in most homes this is actually the best option.
First, decide on the best room to locate these items. You will likely want to store medicines and vitamins in or near the master bedroom, and household cleaners and other chemicals near the kitchen or mudroom. Ideally, these items will be stored in a room that is already off-limits, which means you will have babyproofed the door to restrict access to children. This provides an extra layer of safety.
Second, decide which cabinet or area within that room to store items in. Ideally a high cabinet or shelf is best. Look out for cabinets that could easily be reach by a climbing child and avoid those or add in a third layer of protection.
Third, consider storing the items in a child-proof bin or container. This provides yet another layer of safety for these dangerous items. You might already have small lock boxes or bins around the house that could work for medications and vitamins.
Medicines & Chemicals: Recommended Products
The TSSS Combination Lock Medicine cabinet works well to store small medicines and vitamins. It’s easy to use, and thankfully does not require a key to operate (you can set your own combination). Even if you use this product, you should store the medicine in an off-limits area just to be safe.
- Set your own combination
- Easy to access
- Small enough to fit in most cabinets
- Small storage area might not fit larger medications
- Plastic can break if item is dropped
A more all-purpose solution is the AmazonBasics Security Safe. This safe works in the same manner as the safes you often find in hotel rooms and can be mounted to the wall
- Easy combination access
- Can be mounted to wall
- Shelf height might not accomodate all medications
- Might be too bulky to fit in some cabinets