Teach Your Child This Vital Prescription Med Safety Tip Today

This Is Why We Need To Teach Kids Not To Eat What They Find On The Floor

Image via Milly Smith/Instagram

What would your three-year-old do if they found a brightly colored pill on the kitchen floor?

Milly Smith had no idea that she had dropped a single pill on the kitchen floor as she was taking her daily medications. She only found out when her three-year-old son, Eli, brought the prescription medicine to her, just as she’s always taught him to do with things he finds on the floor.

After the incident, she took to Instagram and Twitter to share her story — and it soon went viral.

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This highlights how damn important it is to make sure you teach your children to NOT eat things off the floor and to show them to you immediately. Eli has been taught he doesn’t put anything in his mouth from the floor even if he knows it’s a sweet. He ALWAYS has to double check and we reinforce it constantly. – This is a levothyroxine tablet for a thyroid disorder I have and strong enough to put Eli in intensive care. I am the most careful person with my tablets but even the most careful person in the world will have human error which is why it’s not enough to just keep your meds out of reach. – Eli picked this up off the kitchen floor and immediately came to me to show me. If he’d have swallowed this I’d be in a&e right now or worse. TEACH CHILDREN NOT TO PUT STUFF IN THEIR MOUTHS FROM THE FLOOR. We taught Eli from a very very young age and so far we’ve never had a problem, fingers crossed. Even more important in a household that has a lot of medication.

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“This highlights how damn important it is to make sure you teach your children to NOT eat things off the floor and to show them to you immediately,” she wrote. “Eli has been taught he doesn’t put anything in his mouth from the floor even if he knows it’s a sweet. He ALWAYS has to double check and we reinforce it constantly.”

Smith explained that the prescription meds could have seriously harmed her child if he had eaten it.

“This is a levothyroxine tablet for a thyroid disorder I have and strong enough to put Eli in intensive care. I am the most careful person with my tablets but even the most careful person in the world will have human error which is why it’s not enough to just keep your meds out of reach.”

The main point? It’s not good enough to just keep your pills safely stored. You need to teach your children about the dangers of medicine, or at the very least, not to eat things you’ve found on the floor.

“Eli picked this up off the kitchen floor and immediately came to me to show me,” she says. “If he’d have swallowed this I’d be in a&e right now or worse. TEACH CHILDREN NOT TO PUT STUFF IN THEIR MOUTHS FROM THE FLOOR. We taught Eli from a very very young age and so far we’ve never had a problem, fingers crossed. Even more important in a household that has a lot of medication.”

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Smith, who has a popular Instagram page that usually focuses on issues such as self-love, body positivity, and mental illness awareness, said the response to her prescription meds safety post has been positive — and that many parents are sharing that they haven’t yet taught their kids this vital lesson.

“People have been so grateful,” Smith told Scary Mommy. “Most parents are keeping medication out of reach but aren’t teaching their children not to pick things up and eat them. It’s just not enough to keep them hidden. As parents we are naturally careful, but human error is going to happen. We can’t blanket the world for our children but we can put slippers on their feet.”

Image via Milly Smith

Smith says that she began teaching her son about the dangers of foreign objects on the floor as soon as he could grasp the concept, around the age of one. She told him to never eat something — even if he knows it’s a sweet — without checking with mom or dad first to confirm it’s safe.

While many parents are familiar with the best ways to keep dangerous prescription meds safely away from their kids, they are less familiar with how to talk to their kids about medicine. Here are a few more tips from Safe Kids Worldwide: 

  • Make certain your child knows that medicine should always be administered by an adult and never taken on their own.
  • Don’t refer to medicine as candy.
  • Make sure your children know that it can be very dangerous to take other people’s prescription meds — medicine does not always make you feel better.
  • Model good behavior: store medicine carefully and show your children how you read the labels and dosage information very carefully before taking it.

“We’ve always tried to be truthful and teach him about dangers rather than pretending they don’t exist,” says Smith. “Teaching children WHY they need to do things is so valuable rather than just making it a rule without explanation. They’re more likely to comply.”