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Safety Tips for When the Grandkids Visit

Despite having two grown sons, I’m not a grandparent yet. My younger sister’s first grandchild arrived two months ago, and I’ll admit I’m a little envious, though the timing’s not right yet for my own kids.

When my time to be a grandmother arrives, I’ll think back to all the great things my mom and mother-in-law did when we took our kids to visit their houses. At my mom’s house, there’s always a cat to see and a garden to inspect. My kids loved mom’s great view of the Smoky Mountains from her front porch.

And my mother-in-law always went full North Pole at Christmas. Very often we couldn’t walk through the living room Christmas morning. We’d have to weave a path through the presents! Ruby loved Christmas and giving gifts to our kids. She was always so thoughtful, picking the perfect size clothing every time.

She spent literally days planning and decorating for the holidays. But one year when my youngest was a toddler, we had a frantic call to Poison Control and a speeding trip to the emergency room.

My mother-in-law always kept her prescription meds on the side table in the living room, or on the night stand by her bed. My daughter, under two at the time, moved as fast as lightning one day, grabbed a pill bottle and poured the pills in her mouth. I realized what she’d done when I heard her say “Candy!”

Thank goodness fast action and activated charcoal in the Emergency Room saved the day. Even then, I sat in a hospital room overnight watching my baby sleep in a metal crib next to another tiny kid who’d had her dad’s diet pills pumped out of her stomach.

We learned some things that day you need to know too.

Safety Measures to Take Before Your Grandkids Visit

Take a look around your house for hazards.

When asked, grandparents listed electrical outlets as a top safety issue for kids, but really kids are 36 times more likely to go to the ER because of accidental medicine ingestion.

Check your meds.

Are they up out of the way, even from a climbing child? Put them up and away every time.

Take inventory before a visit.

My mother-in-law didn’t know how many pills were in the bottle my daughter ate from. We had no way of knowing if she’d had one pill or a dozen. Know what medicines and supplements you have in your house and roughly how many are in the bottle.

Consider the lids.

My mother-in-law didn’t have child safety lids because no children lived in her house. More than 5.4 million kids are being raised in households headed by grandparents and 1 in 8 grandparents in this country provide care to a grandchild on a regular basis. Reason enough to consider giving up the convenience of easy-open lids.

Be prepared for an emergency.

When we needed to act fast, I had to look up the number for Poison Control in the phone book. Who has phone books any more? Have emergency numbers posted by the phone. The number for Poison Control is 800-222-1222.

Educate yourself.

Log onto Up and Away and Take The Pledge.

Up and Away is an educational program to remind families of the importance of safe medicine storage. It is an initiative of the PROTECT Initiative, in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Consumer Healthcare Products Association Educational Foundation. Midlife Boulevard is being compensated for this blog post but my opinions are all my own.

We all share a goal of raising happy, confident kids and grandkids and part of that involves keeping them safe, especially the curious toddlers who tend to explore and climb.

I hope reading this will help you protect the little ones you love so much. Please share this information, so every visit with grandkids is a safe and happy one!


Anne Parris

Anne Parris is a managing partner Midlife Boulevard. Her personal blog, Not A Supermom, is your typical mommy blog that her kids say used to be funnier. Anne has a business degree and a dusty résumé from a top accounting firm and a Fortune 500 company, which she reminds herself of every time she is washing underpants. She lives with her family in Virginia and blogs mostly to support her coffee habit.

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