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When administering medicines to yourself or a family member, it is essential to be absolutely sure that you have the right medication and the right dose. For those whose visual acuity is not what it once was (that's us, Boomers!), especially in low light levels or in urgent situations, ensure that you can read labels and directions clearly by keeping an inexpensive pair of reading glasses right in or with the medicine box or cabinet. Sharp vision prevents potentially disastrous errors. Have those drugstore reading glasses right at hand and be safe, not sorry.
I am an RN, so I know the serious consequences of medication errors. This idea came to me as I was sorting and updating my own home medicine box.
By Susanna from Akron, OH
I got tired of squinting at the tiny dosage directions printed on many pain reliever bottles when needing something. When a new bottle/brand is bought, I take my black, permanent marker and write the dosage in bigger print on the bottle. For example, 2/4 or 2/6 meaning two pills every four hours, etc. It also helps the kids and husband who take directions for granted with every bottle. To take my marker out of my kitchen is perilous!
By Cakeluv from Henry, TN
We have built in drawers in our master bathroom. I keep everything in its specific spot. One of my daughters, while home for the weekend, used some hydrocortisone cream out of my bathroom. Needless to say, she did not return it to where she got it from.
Now, fast forward to the next morning, when I went to brush my teeth after showering and before I put my contacts in. I grabbed the hydrocortisone cream and tried to use it, instead of the toothpaste. As a safety instructor, I preach safety to my kids all the time. Yet, things like this still happen.
Medications should be kept separate from hygiene products. Medications should be locked if there are young children or people with mental issues in the home. Internal medications (those you swallow) should be kept separate from external medications. Eye drops and ear drops should also be kept separate. Mine are separated by drawers, and some of the drawers contain Velveeta cheese or check boxes inside them to further divide the contents.
Most internal medications should not be kept in the bathroom due to heat and humidity issues. Our medications are kept in drawers in our master closet, which we can lock should company come or young children visit. It's also a good way to keep people from snooping to see what medications you are on to not keep them in the medicine cabinet.