MONDAY, July 1, 2019 (HealthDay News) — More than one in four grandparents report storing prescription medications in containers, primarily easy-to-open containers, according to a report published online July 1 by the National Poll on Healthy Aging.

Researchers surveyed a randomly selected group of 2,051 older adults aged 50 to 80 years. The report was based on responses from 1,074 older adults who had grandchildren aged 0 to 17 years.

According to the report, 64 percent of grandparents reported providing care to their grandchildren. Almost all grandparents (97 percent) reported having some type of medication in their home: 94 percent had over-the-counter medicines, 89 prescription medicines, and 86 percent vitamins or supplements. Overall, 71 percent of grandparents reported keeping prescription medications in their original containers, while others report transferring at least some medications. Twenty-nine percent used other types of containers to store prescription medications, most (83 percent) using easy-to-open containers or pill boxes. Eighty-four percent of respondents reported keeping their medicines in the same place they typically store them when grandchildren come to visit. Only 7 percent reported placing them in a locked cupboard or cabinet when visiting their grandchildren.

“Prescription medicines, and even over-the-counter medicines and supplements, can harm children and teens who find them in grandma’s purse or on grandpa’s kitchen table,” poll director Preeti Malani, M.D., said in a statement. “No matter how old your grandchildren are, you need to think about medication safety.”

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