Whether you take medicine every day or only when you are sick, it’s important to make a plan for how to store prescription drugs in your home and keep them away from kids and teenagers.\nKeeping prescriptions safe goes beyond the traditional baby proofing. Be sure to store drugs away from preteens and teenagers, who might look for medicines to experiment with or abuse. Even if you don’t have children, think about where your drugs are stored before family members or friends with kids come to visit.\nMore than 90 percent of accidental poisonings occur in the home, and many nonfatal poisonings happen to children under the age of six.\nFor more information about prescription safety, contact the Pittsburgh Poison Center of UPMC.\n4 Tips for Safeguarding Your Medication\nHere are four helpful steps for keeping prescriptions safe in your home:\n\n\nStore medicines in their original containers with childproof caps\n\n\nPlace medicines in a high cabinet, perhaps in the kitchen. And take the extra step of locking the cabinet to keep drugs away from teens and younger children.\nNot all childproof caps are actually childproof. In cases where children were accidentally exposed to their grandparents’ medicines 45 percent involved child-resistant containers, according to a study cited by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA).\nThe American Pharmacists Association (APA) reports that grandparents in particular may keep medicines in weekly pill containers that children can easily open. Also, consider where to store your medicines when staying at someone\u2019s home during holidays or vacations.\n\n\nAlways call it medicine\n\n\nYou don’t want children to think of medicine as candy, which can tempt them to try to ingest potentially dangerous prescriptions.\nCalling it medicine will indicate to your children that it should only be taken when they’re sick or injured, and according to the doctor or pharmacist’s instructions. Make sure your kids know that medicine can be harmful if it’s taken when they’re not sick or if they take too much.\nDid you know?\nIn 1971, the Mr. Yuk sticker was created by the Pittsburgh Poison Center. This symbol is now used to warn adults and children alike of poisonous substances. Mr. Yuk was the first poison education symbol in the United States. Last year, the Pittsburgh Poison Center issued several million of these stickers around the world.\n\n\nGet rid of unused medicines\n\n\nIf there’s no expiration date, get rid of any medicine that’s six months old or older.\nMany communities have medicine take-back days that allow you to get rid of old medicines. Contact your local pharmacist or police department (using the nonemergency number) for information. Search online for a disposal location near you, or participate in a National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.\nAs a secondary option, you can throw most medicines into the trash, says the FDA. Mix them with something people and animals won’t eat, like coffee grounds, sawdust, or kitty litter; then pour the mixture into a small, sealable bag, and dispose in the outside trash. Don’t crush the pills, and remove the prescription labels.\nMedicines that are particularly dangerous may have instructions to flush them down the toilet. For example, a transdermal patch containing fentanyl, a strong opioid pain medicine, should be folded in half with the sticky sides together and flushed, according to the FDA. These patches can be dangerous to children and shouldn’t be placed in the trash.\nIf you’re unsure about what to do with unused medicines, contact your pharmacist.\n\n\nKnow the Poison Control Center\u2019s phone number\n\n\nNo matter how hard you work at keeping prescriptions away from kids, accidents can happen \u2014so be prepared.\nMemorize the national Poison Control Center\u2019s number (800-222-1222), display it prominently on your refrigerator, and program it into your family’s cell phones.\nFor more information about prescription drug safety, contact the Pittsburgh Poison Center of UPMC.