ST. CLOUD -- With schools closed and many parents working from home during the coronavirus pandemic, health officials are reminding everyone to keep medications out of the hands of small children.

Dr. Andrew Maloney is a pediatrician at CentraCare. He says much like summer when kids are home during the day, the dangers of accidental drug poisoning goes up when they aren't in school or at daycare.

Dr. Maloney says there are some common-sense steps you can take to protect them. Make sure the prescriptions, vitamin supplements, cough medicines and Tylenol are stored in a place high and out of reach.  He says a locked container is a good idea and keeping the medicine out of view of children will eliminate their curiosity.

Maloney says its important to properly dispose of old or unused medications. If you can't get to a medication drop-off box due to the coronavirus pandemic, store them in a safe place and out of reach until a dropbox becomes accessible.

Dr. Maloney says pain killers and even Tylenol account for a majority of the most serious cases of drug poisoning in children.

If you suspect a child has ingested a medication, call the Poison Control Center immediately at 1-800-222-1222, or call 911.

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