April 17, 2008 —
Last week, I took my young nephews and daughter to my hometown of Kansas City, MO, to visit my family during spring break. My mother, who we were staying with, has a really big bathroom, and the kids played in there a lot, pretending to have meetings and playing make-believe. They were also going through the dresser drawers for the types of things kids may want to explore. The second day of my vacation, I noticed one of the drawers was open, and I was shocked to see bottles and packages of medicine! I couldn't believe that after all my work with Five Moms that my own mother's medicines, both prescription and over-the-counter, were not being safeguarded! I called the children in to the bathroom and talked with them about how we use these medicines to make us feel better when we are sick and that only an adult should give it to them. I talked to them about the difference between drugs you get on the street and medicines we use for our health. Even though they are young, they were very attentive and even asked questions. It is so important to have a dialogue with your children and the adults around you who care for your kids. Learning that cough medicine is being abused by teens is still shocking parents and grandparents, like my mom, all over the country, so remember to keep spreading the word about abuse.