Spring clean your medicine cabinet

Your medicine cabinet can become a dumping ground for old drugs. Consumer Reports says the risks for accidental poisoning for kids increase with every bottle of pills you keep.

Those leftover pills are far from harmless. Taking them incorrectly or accidentally could be deadly or land a child in the ER, especially narcotic painkillers such as Oxycontin, Percocet and Vicodin. Prescription sleep-aids like Ambien and anti-anxiety medications like Xanax are also problematic. You really want to make sure medications like these are secure; either locked away or well hidden and out of kids’ reach.

Over-the-counter medicines can also be an issue, particularly if things look and taste like candy.

A new, nationally representative Consumer Reports survey found 19 percent of people hadn’t cleaned out their medicine cabinet in over three years.

National Prescription Drug Take-Back day on April 29 is the perfect time to turn in leftover and expired medication for safe disposal.

If you do throw medicines out, be sure to remove any personal information from the bottle and mix the drugs with something unappealing – like coffee grounds or kitty litter – before sealing in a plastic bag and tossing in the garbage.

Consumer Reports says getting rid of any unused medication also removes the temptation of nosy neighbors or even teens who may come across the pills and take them.

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