The coughs and colds season means that medicines to relieve symptoms can be left lying around the house, with potentially serious consequences for children.
The National Poisons Centre in Beaumont Hospital in Dublin points out that all medicines can be dangerous, if taken in the wrong dose or by the wrong person.
Safety tips include:
* Keep medicines in their original containers, and store them in a locked medicine cabinet, fixed at a height where they are out of reach of children.
* Never keep medicines on bedside lockers, in unlocked cupboards, drawers, purses, or handbags. If you give medicine to your child during the night put it away immediately, out of sight and out of reach of little hands.
* Never call medicine 'sweets' and don't take your own medicine in front of children, as they often copy what adults do.
* Always check the label before taking medicine or giving it to someone else. Turn on the light at night to avoid mistakes.
* Always read the dosing instructions, and check with your GP or pharmacist if in doubt about the correct dose.
* Teach young children to always ask a grown-up before they eat or drink something they find around the house.
Health & Living