You’re about to take your last dose of medication when you realize that the bottle is empty. Panic begins to set in because the last person in the bathroom was your child. You rush into their room to ask them about the pill.

They admit to thinking it was candy and taking it. Luckily, you’re able to get them to the ER and handle the situation before it made your child sick or worse. You might not get so lucky next time.

You need to learn to store your medicine a little more responsibly. Check out this guide for a few key storage tips that will make taking medications safer for yourself and other members of your household.

1. Keep Your Medicine Out of Reach of Children

First things first, keep your medications out of reach of children. Most pills look like hard candies at a glance and if you were taking say, sleep gummies, those really look like candy. Your child will get into them if you leave them out.

Place your pills in a medicine cabinet and keep it secure behind a layer of childproof locks. It also never hurts to have a conversation with your child. Show them the medication and explain to them that it’s not candy.

2. Don’t Store Them in the Bathroom

Most people store their medicines in a bathroom cabinet but it’s not the best idea. When you take a shower the small (most likely not well-ventilated) bathroom fills up with humidity.

This heat and humidity seeps into your medication and causes the pills to break down. Medicine doesn’t hold up too well when exposed to moisture. Even flipping the sink to hot for a couple of seconds is enough to do some damage.

3. So, Where Should You Store Them?

Store your medicines in a dark, dry place that’s away from windows. The natural sunlight shinning on the bottles can damage the pills.

Keeping them in a locked cabinet in your bedroom or kitchen is a good option. Make sure that if you store them in the kitchen you don’t put them in a cabinet that hovers over the stove. Again, heat is a big no-no.

Some medicines such as insulin require you to place them in the fridge but it’s recommended that you invest in a medical refrigerator. If you put them in your regular cold box, your kids will have access to them unless you want to put a baby lock on the fridge.

4. Keep Your Medicine Cabinet Updated

For your own safety, it’s important that you keep your medicine cabinet updated. Go through on a normal basis and toss out any pill bottles that are past their exploration date.

Open your bottles and check the status of the medicine within. If the pills are stuck together, chipped, cracked, have lost their original color, or have a strange texture or smell, toss them in the garbage even if their expiration date is far off.

Taking damaged medicines can make you as sick if not sicker than consuming expired medicines. It’s better to be safe than sorry and clear your cabinet of anything suspicious.

5. Store Them in Their Original Bottle

Your medications should always stay put in their original bottle. Many people will pour all their medications into one or two bottles to save space but if you’re not careful they’ll all become mystery pills later on when you go to take them.

You don’t want to mess up and take the wrong pill at the wrong time because it looked similar to another one in the same bottle. If you throw away the original bottle, you’ll have no way of knowing a pill’s expiration date either.

6. Make Sure Your Medicine Cabinet is Organized

If you’re worried about all your pill bottles taking up too much room in your medicine cabinet, there are ways for you to save space. All you have to is implement smart organization tactics.

Make a Special Bin for Each Family Member

You can buy plastic bins at the dollar store for a few bucks. Have each of your family members pick one out and put their name on it.

All their medications will go in this bin. It keeps your cabinet free of clutter and allows you to keep track of everyone’s medical requirements.

Separate Your Pills into Groups

Create a special section for everything from baby needs to first aid. When you know where everything is, it won’t take you a million years to find what you need.

If the cold medication isn’t where it’s supposed to be you’ll be able to spot the problem right away as well. Meaning, you’ll know if one of your children got into something that they shouldn’t have and be able to act quickly.

Use a Lazy Susan

As you get older you begin taking more and more supplements and vitamins to get the nutrients your body needs. They can take up quite a bit of room in the medicine cabinet and make it hard for you to store everyone else’s medicines.

Pick up a lazy susan and place your vitamin bottles on it. This will save room and make your pills more accessible.

All you have to do is turn it to find what you need. It’s much more convenient than rummaging through the cabinet for several minutes.

Store Your Medications in the Most Responsible Manner Possible

Taking medicine is an inevitable part of life. If you’re not careful about where you store them, they could end up falling into the wrong hands or you could accidentally take an expired pill and make yourself sick. Reduce the chances of that happening with the smart storage techniques on this list.

Proper medication storage is only one aspect of keeping you and your family safe and well. Check out our blog daily for more articles like this one.

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