|Be sure to dispose of expired medicine properly.|
It is that time of year when illnesses are going around and I know too well how important it is to have the proper medications accessible. In the spirit of planning ahead and keeping your family safe, I encourage you to organized your medicines in three easy steps:
1) Gather All of Your Medicines in One Place
It is best to have one place where you can store all of your medications safely. Pharmacists recommend cool, dry, dark places that are out of reach of children and pets. The other advantage is not having to search all around when you are sick.
Time Yourself: This step should take about 15 minutes depending on how scattered your medicines are.
Less is more. Keep only those medications that you currently use and have not expired. It is best to dispose of (see below for disposal guidelines) expired medicines as they loose their effectiveness over time. If you have a lot of medications you can sort them by type (i.e. pain reliever) or family member and place in simple labeled cardboard boxes or bins.
Time Yourself: This step should take about 15 minutes depending on how many medications you have.
3) Dispose of Medications Properly
Because medications can get into our water supply and in the hands/paws of children/pets, proper disposal is a must. Many communities, including Washtenaw County, have "take back" programs where you can take both prescription and over the counter (OTC) medications to pharmacies for proper disposal. If your community does not have such a program it is currently recommended that medications be wrapped in duct tape and several layers of plastic bags to prevent crushing in garbage trucks.
Time Yourself: This step should take about 15 minutes depending on how far you live from a participating pharmacy.
Carolyn Anderson-Fermann is a public speaker, organizing expert and founder of Simply Organized Life. Would you like to learn how to keep your family organized? Carolyn will be presenting "Organize Your Family" through Ann Arbor Rec and Ed on Friday, February 8, 2013. Register with Ann Arbor Rec and Ed.