Safety of children
Keeping children safe
Many types of drugs or medication can be extremely dangerous to babies or children. As little as one teaspoon of methadone or a couple of paracetamol tablets can, and have, caused the deaths of babies and small children.
• DO call 999 immediately if you think that your child has taken any medication or illicit substances.
• DO always store medication in a safe and secure (locked) place and make sure that any old medication, drugs and drug related equipment is disposed of safely.
• DO remember that you can request that your prescribed medication is dispensed to you in child safe containers/packaging.
• DO remember that you should NEVER give babies or children any sedative medication to relieve any symptoms of illness. Never give them medication or alcohol to aid sleep.
• DO remember that adult beds are not designed with a baby’s safety in mind. The best place for a baby or a very small child to sleep is a cot or their own bed.
• DO remember that if you are going to be in a situation where you know you will be using alcohol or drugs recreationally, you ensure that you make appropriate preparations in advance by arranging for someone you trust (family member/friend) to look after your children.
• DO NOT take your methadone, illicit drugs or other prescribed medication in the presence of your children.
• DO NOT leave your methadone, illicit drugs or other prescribed medication where a child might find them or within easy reach of children.
• DO NOT bed share with your child/baby if you have consumed alcohol, methadone, benzodiazepines or any other substance that can make you drowsy or sedated.
• DO NOT ever put yourself in a situation where you could fall asleep with your baby in a chair or on a sofa, this is potentially more dangerous than sharing a bed.
• DO NOT smoke in the presence of your child/children and NEVER smoke and bed share
• DO NOT forget you can always seek appropriate advice and support from your Midwife, Health Visitor, GP, Family Planning Service, Social Services or Drug and Alcohol service if you are having any concerns regarding a child’s welfare or wellbeing.