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Why every parent needs to return unwanted household medicines to the pharmacy

Return unwanted medicine to a pharmacy to protect your childrenAs a mum, the safety and care of my two boys is the most important thing in my life. If there is a way to prevent accidents from happening in the home, I’m all ears. That’s why I was interested to hear about Return Unwanted Medicines (or the RUM Project).

The RUM Project is an initiative that provides the Australian community with a free and convenient way to dispose of expired and unwanted household medicines via pharmacy.

I can’t believe a service like this exists – and I’ve never heard of it! To increase awareness, the RUM project recently launched a new campaign to remind everyone – especially us parents – of the dangers associated of storing unwanted and expired medicines in the home.

I was so shocked to hear that more than 5,000 children end up in hospital due to household medicine poisonings every year in Australia. On top of this, most accidental poisonings occur in children younger than five years old, with children aged one to three years being at the greatest risk.

It is devastating to think some of these cases could have been prevented if people had disposed of their unwanted and expired medicines via pharmacy.

RUM estimates that there are millions of medicines sitting in Australian homes posing a significant risk for accidental medicine poisonings amongst children.

I urge every parent to take time to go through their medicine cabinet, check the medicines labels and dispose of any medicines that are no longer currently in use or have expired. By returning these medicines to your local pharmacy, you can also do your part in protecting the environment.

Medicines that are disposed of down the sink, toilet or in household rubbish bins can potentially damage the environment.

3 steps to safe disposal of medication

  • Collect all your medication from around the house – read the medicine labels, check expiry dates and consider whether you need all your medication.
  • Remove expired and unwanted medication and place them in a bag or container (out of the reach of children).
  • Return these expired and unwanted medicines to your local pharmacy. Your pharmacist will make sure they’re put in a secure bin for safe and environmentally-friendly disposal.


The Bub Hub is proud to support Return Unwanted Medicines

To learn more visit www.returnmed.com.au.

About Natalie Barr

Natalie Barr is a Sunrise 7 Presenter and Return Unwanted Medicines Spokesperson.

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