Pill Cases and Child Safety

Daily or weekly pill cases are a convenient way to store medications and serve as a simple reminder to take them.

One of the most frequent types of call the PPC receives involves children opening the compartments of a pill case and ingesting some, or all, of the contents.  The frequency of such calls increases during the summer season, as many people use these types of cases when traveling.

There is no such thing as a “child-proof” pill case. Even those that are “child resistant” can be defeated relatively easily by a determined or curious child at a surprisingly young age.

The only way to reliably prevent children from opening a pill case is to store it in a locked container on a high shelf, secured with a combination or key padlock.

Ask all visitors to secure their medications.  If you are visiting, ask ahead of time if the house to which you are going has a lock box and, if it does not, bring a small one or ask the household to purchase one ahead of your visit.  While it may add a few minutes to your routine, it will keep little ones and pets out of medications and safe.

LOCKMED, a Pittsburgh-based company that produces home medication lock boxes, has collaborated with the Pittsburgh Poison Center to emphasize the importance of locking up all prescription and over-the-counter drugs at home. For more information, visit www.lockmed.com.

Disclaimer: The primary purpose of this material is for general informational purposes only and should be interpreted as an endorsement of any particular product by the PPC (part of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center).

Your local poison center is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to answer any additional questions and to address any poisoning concerns. Call 1800-222-1222 from a phone with your local area code to contact the correct center.