When children ingest medication meant for adults, they should immediately be rushed to the nearest hospital, said Health Ministry pharmaceutical division senior director Dr Ramli Zainal. \r\n\r\nThis comes after a case where a two-year-old girl took some pills that was kept inside her mother\u2019s handbag. \r\n\r\nKhairul Anuar, 47, and his wife Noraini Mazlan, 42, had just returned home from work. On the way to the bathroom, he saw his daughter putting tablets into her mouth. He panicked after he realised she had swallowed some tablets and quicked rushed her to a clinic. \r\n\r\nFortunately, nothing serious happened to his daughter, and from that day onward, all the pills and medicine are kept out of reach in a cupboard. However, others are not so lucky. \r\n\r\nIn 2016, a four-year-old from Negeri Sembilan died after swallowing some blood pressure medication belonging to his grandmother. And this is just one of many tragic cases of children ingesting medicine intended for adults.\r\n\r\n\r\nExcessive Doses a Danger to Children\r\nGenerally, consuming vitamins in excessive doses may lead to nausea, vomiting, and dizziness. Iron tablets taken in higher doses can lead to stomach-ache, diarrhoea, and even bloody stool and liver damage for more serious cases, he said.\r\n\r\nDr Ramli stressed that supplements and medications should be kept out of reach of children at all times. However, the pharmaceutical division\u2019s community empowerment activities reveal that most people did not place much emphasis on keeping their medication in a safe place. Such disregard for safety would expose their children to danger.\r\n\r\nThe reason for this assertion is from the division\u2019s Community Care Ambassador programme in 2016. During the programme, pharmacists would team up with volunteers and ambassadors to visit the homes of patients to educate them of safe medication practices. \r\n\r\nDespite the face that medicine packages are labelled with a \u201cKeep Away from Children\u201d warning, some people ignored it and kept the medicine on the dining table or in places easily accessible to children. \r\n\r\nMedicine often comes in various shapes or colours which can easily attract children\u2019s attention and curiosity. This is why it is important to keep medication away from children, said Dr Ramli.\r\n\r\n\r\nThe Importance of Proper Storage Conditions\r\nIn fact, most people are not aware that improper storage of medication will affect the efficacy of the medicine or even damage it. For example, some medicines have to be kept at room temperature in a cool, dry place. \r\n\r\nDr Ramli advised the public to simply follow the instructions given on the label. Many people tend to think that medicine are hardy and long-lasting, and prefer storing their medication in the all sorts of places such as the refrigerator, kitchen, bathroom cabinet, and even in the car. \r\n\r\nTablets and pills should not be refrigerated as they could become damp and easily crumble, which would compromise their quality. In fact, only medicines that have to be stored between 2\u00b0C and 8\u00b0C must be kept in the refrigerator.\r\n\r\nSome patients tend to keep their inhalers or heart medication in the car for easy accessibility. However, contrary to such habits, it is actually not advisable to do so as the medications could be damaged by the heat when the vehicle is parked outdoors.\r\n\r\nFor more information about parenting and family, please visit Motherhood.com.my.