Up and Away

Approximately 50,000 young children are brought to the emergency room each year because they got into medicines that were left within reach. Are all of your medicines kept somewhere safe?

It only took a moment for Sugey and Carlos’s toddler to accidentally swallow medicine that was left within his reach. It can happen to anyone. Take 90 seconds to watch their story, and learn how to keep your family safe.

Scroll down to learn about keeping your child safe.

Pick a place your children cannot reach.

Find a place in your home that is too high for children to reach or see. Different families will have different places. Walk around your home and find the best place to keep your medicines and vitamins up and away, even between doses. Make sure that medicines carried with you (including those in purses, bags, pockets, or pill organizers) are also kept out of sight and reach of young children.

Never leave loose pills or liquid medicines
out on a counter, table, or bedside.

To a young child, pills can look like candy and liquid medicines can look like sugary drinks, so it’s important to keep them out of children’s reach and sight and in child-resistant containers until right before you take them.

At home or away, keep medicines in their original, child resistant containers.

If the medicine has a locking cap that turns, twist it until you can’t twist anymore or hear the “click.” If you must put medicines in other containers, such as pill organizers, check to see if they are child-resistant. Many are not and can be easily opened by young children.

Teach your children about medicine safety.

It’s important to teach your children what medicine is and why you or another caregiver must be the one to give it to them. Never tell children medicine is candy, even if they don’t like to take their medicine.

Inside homes with children, discuss keeping
medicine in a safe place.

Remind guests to keep purses, bags, or coats that have medicines in them up and away and out of sight when they’re in your home. If you bring medicines with you to a home with young children, don’t be shy about asking for a place to put your medicines that is out of reach and sight of curious young kids.

Be prepared in case of an emergency.

Save the Poison Help number (800-222-1222) in your phones, so you have it when you need it – and make sure that babysitters, older children, grandparents, and frequent family visitors have this information too, in case there’s an emergency when they’re in charge.

Call Poison Help right away if you think your child might have gotten into a medicine or vitamin, even if you are not completely sure. You can also visit www.poisonhelp.org.

Poison Prevention Information

(800) 222-1222


The Up and Away and Out of Sight program has a number of FREE materials and resource links to help you learn more about keeping your children safe by storing medicines safely. Click on the resources below to download or order our materials.

About the Campaign

Families take medicines and vitamins to feel well or stay well. Any medicine or vitamin can be dangerous if taken in the wrong way or by the wrong person, even medicine you buy without a prescription (known as over-the-counter medicines). Up and Away and Out of Sight is an educational program to remind families about the importance of safe medicine storage. It is an initiative of PROTECT, in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Consumer Healthcare Products Association Educational Foundation and the below organizations.

Take Action

Help keep children safe by sharing these tips with your friends and family!

Government Agencies

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
  • U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  • Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
  • U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

National Partners

  • American Association of Poison Control Centers
  • Children’s Safety Network
  • Institute for Safe Medication Practices
  • National Consumers League
  • National Council on Patient Information and Education
  • National Safety Council
  • Poison Prevention Week Council
  • Safe Kids

Program Partners

  • American Academy of Family Physicians
  • American College of Preventive Medicine
  • Academic Pediatric Association
  • Safe States Alliance