Department of Public Health

Safe Homes

Safe Homes icon

A home is full of both safe and unsafe items for children. OCDPH's Safe Homes campaign is working to make homes safer by encouraging conversation among families, offering tools for locking up potentially dangerous or deadly items, and sharing information about where to throw away unused over-the-counter and prescription medication for free.

Accidental contact with prescription medication, cannabis, and other substances can land a child in the emergency room. According to the CDC, this happens to approximately 35,000 children in the United States every year.

Safe Homes provides locking bags for the safe storage of medication, cannabis, and other substances that need to be kept away from children. Through a partnership with the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office and the Veterans Administration, OCDPH is providing a limited number of gun locks so that individuals and families can consider locking up lethal means which may be used in a suicide attempt.

Community Resources

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Tips for a Safe Home


Have Open Conversations
Safe storage is not always enough. Talk to children and teens about the risks of using prescription medication and drugs to help keep them safe.

Be a Good Model for Youth
Set a good example and create a safe environment. Actions speak louder than words.

Be Honest
Explain the health risks and legal consequences. Share how making positive choices can help them reach their goals.


Lock It Up
Young children may confuse marijuana products or medication for food or candy. Find a safe and secure location that is out of reach of children for these items. How you store medications or other drugs should change as children get older. Safe storage around young children may not stop older children or teens.

Accidental Ingestion
If a child does access drugs, call Poison Control at (800) 222-1222. If symptoms are severe, call 911 or go to an emergency room immediately.


Dispose of Unused Medications
Unused medications in the home may be creating risk for our families. Be sure to properly dispose of any unused medications.

Medication Drop Off Points
View medication drop off locations here.

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