Medicine Cabinet Safety Tips for Your Home

Disclosure 1

Lucas is 6 years old. In all of his 6 years, he has never experienced curiosity about medicine. He is a good kid. He knows that medicine should only be given by adults. He knows that he should never take any medicine unless we give it to him. Or so I thought.  Around the holidays, Mike and I went to a movie – sans kids. We dropped the kiddos at my parents house. Lucas was excited because his cousin, Blanca (who is also 6) was also there with him. As soon as we dropped him off, he ran upstairs with Blanca.


Now, let me backtrack a little bit. We were all sick with the flu just the week before so we all – Lucas included – had a lingering cough and sore throat. Now fast forward to my parents house. Mike and I arrive to pick the kids up and Lucas comes over to me and tells me about all of the fun he had. And then he says, “and I took some yellow pills.” My heart stopped.

“What pill? Show me.” I say to him. He immediately begins to cry as he realizes what he’s done. I tell him that he’s not in trouble, but that I need to know exactly what he took. He leads me upstairs into my parents bathroom. He gets out a step stool, carries it over to a tall cabinet, stands on the step stool, and proceeds to take out my moms medicine bag. My mom’s medicine bag, which has high blood pressure medicine and diabetes medicine and all sorts of medicine. I swear – I thought I was going to faint. Then, he pulls out a pack of cough drops from the bag and tells me that these were the yellow pills he took. For his cough and sore throat.

I was lucky. This time. This could have easily been a tragedy. So today, I want to share with you some medicine cabinet safety tips that hopefully will prevent this happening to you!

  • Talk to your kids about medicine safety. It’s important for them to understand the danger.
  • Never refer to medicine as candy.
  • Clean out your medicine cabinet! Make sure to get rid of any old or expired medicines every year.
  • Create a child-proof area that can be locked and keep medication lids tightly closed. I would recommend a LOCKED medicine cabinet that is up high and out of the way.
  • Keep your medications in the container they come in – that way you always know the proper dosage and potential interactions.
  • To avoid double dosing your child with medicine, always make sure that you and your spouse communicate with one another about when medications were given to your child.
  • Be informed about what illness your child has and the proper medication that will alleviate symptoms. For instance, check out the PediaChat Blog post –  All About Fevers to learn more about when a parent should worry about a childhood fever.
  • Keep dosing cups or syringes with the medication it came with or keep it very simple with PediaCare® Infants Fever Reducer / Pain Reliever With Acetaminophen. This is pretty cool because the bottle has a flow restrictor, which helps to minimize dosing errors and is SAFE. Basically nothing comes out of the bottle unless you properly insert the syringe (think hospital syringes).

Infants Fever Reducer Pain Reliever Drops.ashx






  1. I keep all my medicines out of reach. My kids know better (or at least I think they do), but accidents could always happen, so I don’t take any chances.

  2. Oh my gosh… you were so lucky that it wasn’t something really bad that he took. Kids will be kids though. Well, maybe he learned this time to ask first.

  3. Great tips! We keep ours out of reach too, and because I’m more into natural remedies, ours consists of a small basket and that’s it.

  4. Wow how scared I was with you! Glad he just had cough drops. Thanks for the reminders and tips, all kiddos are different too, while some may never touch the medicine in the cabinet others may be intrigued.

  5. Thank you for sharing all these tips! I always freak out a little when my niece and nephew are over and have to use our bathroom, wondering what they will get into!

  6. I had always my medicine in a safe cabinet up high. Or somewhere else where my son can’t get it. I’m not as strict anymore since he can understand why he shouldn’t take them. But it is a huge risk with little children.

  7. THANK YOU for these tips! I have been cautious about our house but need to tell my Mom and MIL too.

  8. My heart would have been pounding and dropping further and further down with each step that he took! You got very lucky this time but it shows that you have raised a good boy because he could have easily have taken so much more.

  9. Oh my gosh!! That’s so scary! We have all our medicines in our bathroom closet that has a kiddie door handle lock my kids haven’t figured out yet. I don’t know what I’ll do once they figure out those handles, though.

  10. Yikes! That’s really scary! We have ours under lock

  11. Girl my heart almost stopped.. That had to have been on of the scariest moments for you. We def have to teach our kids about safety around the medicine cabinet.

  12. I would have been scared too if my son said he had took some pills. My little guy turned 6 today and luckily hasn’t ever been curious about what is in the medicine cabinet. Thanks for the tips.

  13. Wow! So glad it was just cough drops that he took – you can never be too careful!

  14. WOW! scary, but I’m SOOO glad they were only cough drops. We have all our medicines in plain reach in a drawer, but we don’t keep the cough drops or casual anythings in there. It may be time to separate them!

  15. These are such great tips! Having medicines in the house is so scary when little ones are running around. If we didn’t have them locked up, they were place super high up, where even we couldn’t reach them without a step stool.

  16. Oh my gosh, Piera! I’m so glad that’s all he took. What a wake-up call to you and to us!

  17. I’ve had a scare like that as well. We don’t have a medicine cabinet so I utilize a high cabinet in my kitchen to house all of our medicines. I do have locks on our cabinets where the cleaning supplies are. You can never be too careful.

  18. I was getting worried the more I continued reading this post! I am glad that everyone turned out okay. We have all medications out of reach, but I will ask my mom about hers before my son goes back over there for a visit.

  19. All my medicine is far up and out of the kids reach. I also make sure they all have child proof caps on there as well. I’m glad that your son was ok but it is important to teach them about medicine safety.

  20. now that i think of it our medications are not kept out of reach. maybe i trust my kids too much but i should probably do something about it.

  21. Thank goodness that was all he took! I do need to talk with my kids more about this.

  22. Yes! I think talking to your kids is one of the most important things. Great tips.

  23. I am glad your little one was not harmed and that all is well with him. It is a reminder that we have to talk with our kids about medicine and to the people who care for our children.

  24. Great and practical tips. Thanks for sharing!

  25. Great tips. This is something I always worry about happening. That somehow, someway she is going to get into something harmful.

  26. So glad it turned out okay! Great tips for medicine cabinet safety. I go through ours once every six months and throw out expired stuff.

  27. Oh wow, what a scare. These are some great tips as I have a 3 and a 5 year old…thank you!