Sunday, November 3, 2013

Change your clocks, change your batteries, check your medicine cabinet

This morning we switched from daylight savings time to standard time.  I don't know about your house, but in mine the little kids were up over an hour earlier than they needed to be.

So in that extra hour we all gained today that we might not have spent sleeping we can do a few things to make our homes safer.

We're familiar with "Change your Clocks, Change your Batteries".  This is an excellent time to replace all the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.  For those of us in the northern part of the US we've already had some really cool temps and frost.  Heating season is here and good working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are a must.

But when was the last time you checked the expiration dates of the medications in your medicine cabinet or first aid kit?

Many medications change their composition over time.  They can be less effective or be used to treat different symptoms during their chemical life.  Will that 2 year old bottle of ibuprofen be safe to use?  I'm not a pharmacist, so I can't answer that.  But generally expiration dates are on products and medications for a reason, they should not be used after they have expired.  Same goes for the antibiotic ointment and other things in your first aid kit as well.

So in your extra hour today check your medicine cabinet and first aid kit.  If you're uncomfortable throwing expired medications in the household trash check with your local police department.  Many have a drug drop off system and will accept unused medications to safely dispose of them.

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