Medication Safety Tips For Families

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CollectiveBias #LICDrugDisposal

America has a massive opioid crisis so, with National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day taking place tomorrow, I thought it was important to take some time away from my typical light-hearted posts to talk about this serious issue. Since both my youngest son and I take daily prescription medications we always have medicines in our home. I wanted to share ways that you can keep your loved ones safe, whether you take medications on a regular basis, keep your medicine cabinet stocked with over-the-counter medicines, or only have prescription medications in your home a few times a year.

Keep medications in a lock box and hide medications when you have guests in your home

A medication safe is an inexpensive way to keep medications away from little hands and those that weren’t prescribed the medications. I also hide all medications when I have guests in my home. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, approximately fifty-four million Americans over the age of 12 have used prescription medications for non-medical reasons at least once in their lifetime. 77% of opioid prescription medications taken by new users are obtained from a friend or relative (source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) and 62% of teens who admit to taking medication for non-medical reasons say they get drugs from medicine cabinets in their homes (source: National Survey on Drug Use and Health, SAMHSA). With stats like that, even though the medications are in the lock box, I feel more comfortable knowing the medications are not accessible because you never know what struggles those around you are going through.

Talk to kids about the dangers of misusing medications 

Age-appropriate conversations should be happening on a regular basis whether you have medications in your home or not. I have heard stories in the news about grade school drug scares and prescription misuse so I made sure to talk about this issue with my two tweens. They know that they aren’t to take medicines unless mom or dad okays it, they should never accept any type of medications from others or share their medications with others, and they should always tell me if someone offers them something. We’ve talked to them about the dangers of misusing medications- not to scare them- but to make sure they know how serious the situation can be.

Discard unused or expired medications properly

I think it’s safe to say that most of us have had to figure out what to do with unused or expired medications (whether over-the-counter or prescription). Personally, I had a few bottles of medication that I’d been hanging on to because I didn’t know what to do with them! I didn’t want to flush them down the toilet because it wasn’t good for the environment and I didn’t want to throw them away because I didn’t want the drug being abused by others who may discover them.

I recently learned about a safe option for discarding unused or expired medications that was created in an effort to assist in reducing these issues. LifeInCheck (an amazing program I’ve previously shared about on the blog) created a Drug Disposal program that provides consumers with a safe option to discard their unused or outdated prescription medications in secure receptacles located across the US. You can use the LifeInCheck Drug Disposal Search tool to find a LifeInCheck Drug Disposal location near you by going here and entering your city/state or zip code and search radius.

The receptacles are a discreet and responsible way to dispose of unused or expired prescription medication (including Schedule II-V controlled substances), unused or expired over-the-counter medication, and even pet medications. They are simple to use as well- just pull to open the drawer, place medications inside, and close the drawer to safely discard the medication. It should be noted that the receptacles should not be used to discard of Schedule I controlled substances, Illegal drugs, inhalers, or non-medicine items like thermometers, lotions/liquids, aerosol cans, needles, and hydrogen peroxide.

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is tomorrow, October 27th, 2018, but these LifeInCheck Drug Disposal receptacles are available year-round. Learn more and find a receptacle location here. I’d love your help in getting the word out about this issue so please feel free to share this post with your friends and family. You can also chat with me on social (Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook) or I’m always available via email as well if you prefer to chat off social.

Baby Monitors Aren’t Just For Babies

This blog post is brought to you by VTech and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own.

For most new moms a baby monitor is a must have item. I remember setting mine on the nightstand next to me while I slept so I could hear my boys when they woke in the middle of the night and carrying it around with me during the day so I could hear when they woke up from their naps.

As the years have gone on, I’ve discovered that baby monitors aren’t just for babies. They work wonderfully for parents of older children who are starting to engage in independent play or host play-dates with friends and they are useful to check in on older kids without interrupting playtime. They even work for dog and cat moms who want to keep their furry friends away from off-limits areas.

VTech, a brand my family knows and loves, has a whole line of Safe&Sound® baby monitors ranging from compact audio monitors to high-tech video monitors because they know that every family’s needs are different. VTech’s Safe&Sound audio monitors focus on helping parents feel safe and secure. VTech has come out with a new monitor, the VTech Safe&Sound® DM271-110 DECT 6.0 Digital Audio Baby Monitor with Open/Closed & Motion Sensors, with features that give parents peace of mind as their children grow. It’s just the latest addition to VTech’s award-winning monitor line. The VTech Digital Audio Monitor comes equipped with two ULE (Ultra Low Energy) smart home sensors to make taking care of your kids easier than ever before. With the open/closed and motion sensor alerts on doors, cabinets and open spaces, you can know when your child is somewhere off limits, or getting into something they shouldn’t be. The product can be bought for $119.95 on the VTech phones website or Amazon.

Product features:

  • Open/closed and motion sensors
  • Glow-on- ceiling night light with lullaby
  • 1,000 feet of range
  • Back-lit display on the parent unit
  • Talk-back intercom
  • Vibrating sound-alert on the parent unit
  • Temperature sensor
  • Adjustable projection angle
  • DECT 6.0 digital technology
  • ULE (Ultra Low Energy) technology
  • Rechargeable battery with low-battery alert on the parent unit
  • 5-level sound indicator
  • Secure audio transmission
  • Belt clip
  • Volume control
  • Battery type – 2.4V 750mAh Ni-MH

One of my favorite features this VTech Digital Audio Monitor has is the monitor’s talk-back intercom that let’s me check in with the kids easily. I’ve always wanted an intercom system built in to the home and we don’t have one so this is the next best thing in my opinion. I love that it enables me to give my boys (ages 7 and 8) the freedom they crave while still ensuring they are behaving and not doing anything they shouldn’t be doing.

Here are some of the ways I’m using this talk-back intercom feature in my children’s room:

  • To check on them when they are supposed to be picking up their room to see if they really are or if it sounds like they are playing (because there have been so many times I’ve checked in on them an hour later and their room is even messier than it was to begin with).
  • To make sure they are actually in bed when it’s bedtime.
  • To listen to interactions between siblings when I start hearing whispering or yelling
  • To call them for dinner.
  • To listen to what they are watching on the television to make sure it’s appropriate.
  • To tell them when it’s time to start getting ready to leave the house.

The VTech Digital Audio Monitor also has a night light which the boys, especially Lucas, like. It’s a cool space theme, too! Below is part of what is projected on their ceiling.

The package also comes with open/close sensors and motion sensors which give added piece of mind. We’ve decided to use the open/close sensor on our back porch door since it’s a slider door. Though it has a top lock that the kids can’t reach they do know how to unlock it and could do so if they stood on a chair. Having a child with Autism I can never be too careful and like the extra security the sensor on the door provides. The motion sensor we are putting near the boy’s bedroom door since Lucas likes to sneak out of his room after we’ve put the kids to bed. Numerous times we’ve caught him in our bed watching television when we opened the door to go to bed.

When I first had kids I never thought I’d have a baby monitor once they headed off to preschool, and we actually had gotten rid of our old one, but here I am again with a monitor next to me as I type this. What would you use this “baby” monitor for?

Safer Car Rides

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.

Our family loves road trips, whether it’s to visit family or to discover a new town. In the summer we love to drive with the windows down to enjoy the warm breeze on our way to the beach. In the Fall we enjoy driving through the nearby forest preserves to look at the beautiful changing colors of the leaves. The biggest thing that makes road trips more enjoyable is that in the back of my mind I know my kids are safe in their car seats for the whole ride. Fortunately car travel has revolutionized itself since the time I was a toddler.

New parents might have lots of questions about which car seats are the best and as the children grow bigger more questions arise. In my case I always want to know if my boys are in appropriate seats for their individual sizes.  Luckily for all parents we have a great store we can shop at, with people that can help answer our questions, called Babies“R”Us.

Babies“R”Us and Evenflo, both advocates in child product safety, have come together to announce the newest innovation in car seat safety – the SafeMax™ All-in-One Car Seat, now available at Babies“R”Us stores nationwide and online at Babiesrus.com. I want to check it out because I think it would be a great fit for both my boys. Designed and tested for structural integrity at energy levels approximately twice the federal crash test standard, the SafeMax™ All-in-One is the first car seat that has been dynamically rollover tested. I love that The SafeMax™ All-in-One Car Seat is appropriate for infants and children from 5 to 120 lbs or up to 57 inches in height, in three positions – rear facing, forward facing and booster seating. Beyond just safety, this car seat offers SafeZone™ Headrest: A combination of premium materials designed to absorb and dissipate crash forces, providing advanced protection where your child needs it most.

Evenflo believes car seat installation is so important that they give Evenflo car seat owners access to live video chat help when installing their car seat. I think that’s an awesome service! You can also find a free car seat inspection station near you here.

Want to get one of these new car seats? It’s the perfect time because the popular “Great Trade-In” event is back at Babies“R”Us and Toys“R”Us stores nationwide! Through this national safety event, Toys“R”Us, Inc. provides people with its latest call to action to rid their homes of potentially unsafe, old and secondhand baby gear and furniture in exchange for savings on a new item that meets the latest safety standards. Since August 2009, the company’s Great Trade-In event has resulted in the removal of more than 1.1 million pieces of used and potentially unsafe cribs, car seats and more from homes, garages and attics nationwide.

During the event the following deals can be found:

  • 25% savings with trade-in of a used gear or furniture item
  • 30% discount when using an “R”Us Credit Card
  • No trade-in? No problem! 15% off with an in-store and online coupon available online

Make sure to visit any Babies“R”Us and Toys“R”Us stores nationwide Monday, February 1st through Monday, February 29th to participate in this promotion. To learn more, please visit Babiesrus.com/GreatTradeIn.

Read These Safety Tips Before Leaving Kids Home Alone

According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 40 percent of all school children spend at least part of their day home alone. Many kids find themselves on their own between the time they get off from school and their parents come home from work. Because children can face so many dangers during this time, it’s important for parents to educate them on how to behave and what to watch out for. Here are four tips to help keep your kids safe:

Establish a Code Word

Children are taught to avoid strangers, but sometimes emergencies require parents to take unusual actions. For this reason, Dr. Phil suggests that parents set up a code word with their children in the event of an emergency. If your child is approached by a stranger or even a friend of the family and told that he was sent by your parents, children should know to ask for the code word.

If you’ve given that person the code word, he can repeat it to your child, and your child will know it’s okay to go with him. Let your child pick out the code word so he or she has an easier time remembering it.

Handling Bullies

Bullies may not seem like a safety threat, but your child probably views them as a scary part of every day. Talk to your children about the negative effects of bullying and offer guidance on how to handle these situations. According toHealthyChildren.org, kids should avoid giving a reaction to the bully, especially if they are being pushed to give in to demands.

If ignoring a bully doesn’t work, your child should confront the bully and threaten to report him or her if it doesn’t stop. And encourage your child to keep his friends close, if possible—crowds discourage bullies from harassing.

Create a Check-in Routine

Parents aren’t always able to be waiting at home when their children return from school. When kids are supervising themselves for a period of time, parents should establish a check-in routine for kids to go through after school. The Florida Department of Children and Families recommends parents make a clearly structured task list and divide the duties, if you have multiple children. For example, one can call you to check in while the other prepares the after-school snack.

Other important tasks can include locking the front door, re-arming the security system and starting homework at the kitchen table. If your home doesn’t have a home security system, consider getting one to provide greater peace of mind when your kids are home alone. These systems and their providers can be found at http://www.homesecuritysystem.com/. If anything is amiss at the house, you will be notified right away.

Practice Home Safety While You’re There

When you’ve addressed the safety measures children should take, make a few practice runs while you’re at home. Have children come into the house and start their after-school routine while you are unavailable in a closed-off room. You can come out and check periodically to see how they are doing, offer feedback and answer questions. This will provide a greater sense of security for both parties once you’re actually out of the home.

Author: Kyle Lexington. Kyle is a business consultant and freelance writer with three dogs and three kids. They all live in upstate New York.

National Childhood Injury Prevention Week {Energizer Giveaway}

This week is National Childhood Injury Prevention Week and I’m working with Energizer to share news about this important safety week. There are many ways that children can get injured and I want to talk about one type of injury that can be avoided if the right precautions are taken. We all know little kids shouldn’t have small pieces around them because they are choking hazards but did you know there is one common household item in particular that could actually burn your child if swallowed? That item is coin lithium batteries.

Image from thebatterycontrolled.com

Read this startling information below taken from thebatterycontrolled.com:

In 2010 alone, more than 3,400 button battery swallowing cases were reported in the U.S., resulting in 19 serious injuries and in some cases, deaths. The number of cases resulting in serious injury or death has more than quadrupled in the past five years. When a coin lithium button battery gets stuck in a child’s throat, the saliva triggers an electrical current. This causes a chemical reaction that can severely burn the esophagus in as little as two hours. Symptoms of coin-sized button battery ingestion may be similar to other childhood illnesses, such as coughing, drooling, and discomfort. Once burning begins, damage can continue even after the battery is removed. 

Isn’t that scary?! These little batteries are dangerous and so easily accessible in many homes. The National Safety Council and Energizer have teamed up to share some important tips every parent should know to help prevent injuries from the ingestion of Coin Lithium batteries to help keep kids safe.

The 4 S’s of Coin Lithium Battery Safety

·         STORE devices that use coin lithium batteries out of reach of children

·         SECURE the battery compartments of devices

·         SELECT battery packaging that meets federal guidelines for child resistance, such as Energizer’s coin lithium battery packaging

·         SHARE this information with your friends and family

Energizer led the industry by being the first to voluntarily develop packaging for its 20 millimeter coin lithium batteries that meets the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) strict guidelines for child-resistant packaging. I had the chance to test the Energizer packaging against a competitor’s packaging and there really is a difference. The Energizer package I could not open with my hands. It required scissors. The competitor’s packaging I was able to open in one try and with two rips was able to get to the battery.

 GIVEAWAY:

One reader will win an Energizer prize package that includes:

  Two (2) packages of Energizer Coin Lithium batteries

One (1) Energizer LED Nightlight (winner’s choice between Sleeping Beauty or Cars)

One (1) Energizer Weatheready 2-in-1 LED Light

HOW TO ENTER:

{Do any or all of the following, leave a separate comment for each you do}

1) Tell me one way you keep your child/grandchild safe from injury

2) Share this giveaway on a social network

3) Follow @aliciamarie112 on Twitter

4) Follow @Energizer on Twitter

5) Comment on another one of my posts

Giveaway ends September 24, 2013 at 11:59pm Central time. Must be a US resident, 21 or over to enter.

(Disclosure: I received a gift pack in exchange for posting about National Childhood Injury Prevention week but all thoughts are my own.)

Products To Help Keep Kids With Autism Safe

Now that Lucas is getting a little older and more independent I am looking into safety products for children with Autism because he has no fear, often acts without thinking, and will run off if given the chance. Since we will be out and about this summer I want to do everything possible to make sure he is safe.

For today’s Autism related post I wanted to share some products that I’m looking at getting for Lucas who is preschool age. Obviously these products are not substitutes for the watchful eye of a caregiver but instead should be used in addition to correct adult supervision. I am not recommending or endorsing any of these products and am not affiliated with any of them. Check with your child’s doctor first before using any of these.

Tattoos With A Purpose {sold here}

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Angel Guard for Seatbelts {sold here}

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Kid Safety Bands {sold here}

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Window/Door Alarms {sold here}

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Lucas is a little young but I’d get this shirt if he was older…

Alert: I Have Autism Shirt {sold here}

What safety products do you use? I’d love to hear your recommendations in the post comments!