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Keeping children safe includes talking about drugs

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Each year countless numbers of new parents are reminded of the importance of taking every precaution to keep their children safe. But too many times they forget to talk to them about over-the-counter and prescription drugs.

Parents learn from day one about everything from how to hold their children and how to lay them in the crib to bathing them. As children grow older and begin to crawl and walk, parents are urged to cover outlets and put away objects that could harm the child or the child could swallow.

When children enter elementary school parents teach them how to safely cross the street at designated cross walks and how to ride a bike. Unfortunately during the middle school years some parents place less emphasis on safety. Even though this is a time when many children are apt to be the most adventurous.

For many, going from elementary to middle school is a big step and often accompanied by the uncertainty of how they will socially fit in this new environment. It is also during this time many children will have initial exposure to illegal or illicit drugs.

Several times in recent months, students at local schools have been charged with possession or distribution of a controlled drug. In many of the cases the drugs or prescribed medicine were taken from the home of one of the students.

Undoubtedly illegal drugs are a nation wide problem and the alarm must continue to be sounded about their devastating effects.

However, as important as it is for parents to combat illegal drug use through education, they would be remiss not to educate about OTC prescription and illicit drugs. Parents must safeguard their prescription and OTC medications and talk to their children about the misuse of drugs and listen to their concerns regarding the impact of peer pressure.

Parents and the community must remain mindful that illegal, illicit, prescription and OTC medicines are drugs that can be dangerous and potentially fatal if misused or abused. Children are not just our future they are our present, let's keep them safe for both.

For more information contact Mr. Alton Shields at 720-847-6149.
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