EAU CLAIRE, Wisc. (WEAU) - New research shows more and more kids are being poisoned in their own homes. They're taking medications that aren't behind lock and key.
A Safe Kids Worldwide study shows 30 percent more kids took pills and ended up in the hospital. It said many got pills from purses and countertops.
At the Children's Museum of Eau Claire, kids are encouraged to explore in a child-sized world.
But in homes built for adults, new research shows many are getting their hands into more than just the cookie jar.
"Families are taking more medicines it seems like today than they were 10 years ago and it's accounting for numerous emergency room visits," Paula Pater, the Safe Kids Chippewa Valley coordinator said.
Brian Doxsie of Eau Claire said he's tried to child-proof his home for his two-year-old daughter Josie. He said she's also learning what not to do.
"I know two-year-olds can get into trouble, but two-year-olds also can learn, and if you're talking to your child about what they can and can't do, they will learn," Doxsie said.
The new report shows 67,000 kids nationally went to the emergency room in the year 2011 alone after wrongfully taking medications.
Pater said it's important to child-proof homes to avoid a potentially deadly situation.
"(People) keep (pills) in a pill box, which that's obviously very accessible to kids because it's a matter of opening the box and the pills are right there," Pater said. "Keep it up and out of kids' reach, but again, we have to be aware of all circumstances, not just our house, but other houses as well."
Some are getting the message, but Pater said parents can do more.
"I don't leave anything in my purse, it's all pretty much in our cabinets," Jenny Sauve, a Spring Valley mother of two said.
"It's just another thing you have to be careful for," Doxsie said.
"They're inquisitive, and they're curious and it wouldn't take very long to have something tragic to happen," Pater said.
Pater also suggested not telling kids that necessary medicine is candy.
She recommended setting alarms as reminders to take meds instead of keeping pills in plain sight.