Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Six Tips to Protect Young Children From Medications: Easy How-to Createa Lock Box on a Budget

Medications, vitamins and even some herbal remedies can be dangerous to our little ones.  When my first child was at the age where she started climbing I realized that keeping medications up high was no longer adequate.  I searched for a kid proof option that would accommodate my massive amount of medicinal items.  Most of the storage options I found were very small and super easy for an inquisitive child to break open.

Then a light bulb went off!

I don't mean that I got a brilliant idea - literally a light bulb burnt out.  So, I went to the garage to get a replacement bulb and saw what I had been looking for - a tool chest!

1. Select a tool box that has a hole to fit a padlock.  You will likely want to buy a padlock separately.  I use this Stanley 19" Series 2000 Tool Box with Tray for my home Medicine Box, which is pictured throughout this post. A reasonably priced tool box with a front hole for a padlock fit every criteria I was looking for:
  • Childproof lock (padlock)
  • Variety of size options 
  • Sturdy
  • Budget friendly

    2. What is tiny and doesn't need to be locked up? Think about what you want to keep locked up.  How tall, large, small are the items.  I chose a Stanley tool box that enabled me to store a wide variety of items.  The top two lids have sectioned storage compartments.  They can not be locked, but are great for items that you want to be able to reach quickly and do not desire to lock up.
    (Michelle swears by the Baby Comfy Nose for her daughter's nasal aspirator!!! Get one!)

    Top of Box with lids opened
    3. Organization. I wanted the inside of my medicine storage to have some form of organization, but not be so compartmentalized that it wouldn't accommodate different sized items down the road.  The box I chose has a large open space with a removable tray covering about 3/4 of the space. 

    View of Locked Portion when lid is open/ Removable Tray to Right is Great for Small Items

    4. Large and Tall Items: If you have tall/large items you will want to make sure your tool box has sufficient room.  The box I selected has a removable tray that is great for small items that I use often, since it only covers about 3/4 of the open box it allows room for taller items to be stored to the left of it.
    Medicine Lock Box with Lid Removed

    Things to Consider:
    • Some tool boxes have an indentation on the bottom that could scratch a delicate surface.  Carefully inspect the bottom before placing on a table/counter top.  You could always adhere felt to the bottom to be safe.
    • Make sure that the lock you use is something you will be able to easily open and has a combination you can remember.  I do not recommend using a lock that requires a key that you need to look for in an emergency.

    5. LOCK IT UP!!! I purchased a 3-pack of Master Lock Mini Combination Locks that are all programmed with the same combination.  I use one on my medicine box,
    Master Lock Mini Combination Locks 3-Pack
    the second for my chemical storage in our garage, and the third for the gym.  I only had to memorize one combination to work all three locks. The pictured mini locks fit my needs perfectly, but if you have a different type/size of tool box check the description to see if it needs a small or full sized lock.

    •  Make sure that you do not let others know the combination, unless they are supposed to have access.  If you use a lock set like the one above, do not give one of the locks to a child to use (ex. for a school locker), because all three locks use the same combination.  Instead, order a second pack, so all your children have the same combinations, that way, Mama can always check their lockers!

    6. Remember Older Children.
    I know an elementary school aged child who learned how to open the "child safe" lid on her gummy vitamins container and consumed an entire large bottle. This can be extremely dangerous!!! Michelle's two year old thinks they're gummy bears! Just imagine if that happened to your kiddos? I always make sure that my surplus items are locked up.  I then take out a small amount to use each week.
    We remember that all families are different.  You need to do what is safe and appropriate for your family, keeping in mind those who have access to the items in your home.

    How do you keep your younger children safe from medications and other undesirable items in your home?

    Disclosure: No additional compensation was received for this posting.  Ramblings of Mama will always provide honest opinions, beliefs or experiences.  We will only recommend products or services that we feel are of benefit to our readers. Please note that we are not to be held responsible for failure to properly lock up your medications.  Please examine your storage/lock on a regular basis to ensure that the container, locks, etc. are appropriate and safe.  Since there is always the chance of defects, children watching a parent doing a code - memorizing the action, as well as other issues that can affect the security please make sure that your family is safe.  Ramblings of mama is posting about our experiences in our own household and urges our readers to investigate the safety for their own home.  Links enclosed contain affiliate links. If you have any questions, please contact Heather RamblingsOfHeather{at} gmail {dot} com


    1. Super wonderful idea! I would never have thought of this! Thanks for the great post!

      1. Thanks for Reading! Glad Heather's idea helped!!!

    2. I was so happy that I noticed our toolbox in the garage at a time when I had been searching for a medicine storage solution. I hope that this works as well for you as it has for me. I am so glad that you like the post. I will be continuing to post some of my out of the box organization and safety solutions, so stay tuned for more posts like this. And thank you for reading Ramblings of Mama!

    3. That's a good idea. It is a bit extreme but, if you have a few young children it may be needed. I would just put the medication out of sight and reach.

    4. My daughter is so bright, she knows where we "hide" everything, she's not even three yet. Fortunately, she hasn't helped herself to an entire container of "gummies" or "chewables", but she does like the hyland's tablets and the doterra pellets. No idea why, but she does try to help herself to them if she can get her little hands on them!

      1. My son is also a "watcher." He always pays close attention to everything I do and can tell you where everything is put. Now if only he would let me know where I put my keys last.....

    5. Great idea. They have great deals at Harbor freight.

      1. I'm glad you like it. I have never shopped at harbor freight before. Here is a link to the one I have from amazon
        We have amazon prime, so it ships for free. I have also seen this tool box at local retail stores, but if it's the same price like to order from amazon to save on gas.
        The important thing is just to make sure that the size is appropriate for your storage needs and it takes a combination lock. Thank you for reading Ramblings of Mama and I hope you find one that works well for your family!


    Thanks a bunch for your comment love!