Parental advice about storage of prescription medication

During the current lockdown situation, lots of young people are unable to get hold of their drug of choice – whilst this initially might seem like a good thing it actually means they’re more likely to take whatever they can get their hands on. This means they might pick up old prescription medication lying around the house, or buy pills from friends who might have access to these sorts of pills.

If you have old prescription medication lying around you can dispose of it safely through your local pharmacy, but double check their opening times before heading down. This isn’t a waste of their time, as disposing of medication safely is a really important way of preventing harm. You shouldn’t flush medication down the toilet.

Particularly risky substances are things like painkillers (anything including codeine or morphine) and anti-anxiety medication such as diazepam, temazepam, alprazolam or clonazepam, these can all slow the breathing and heart rate which can be very dangerous.

If a young person is desperate they might take any drug, so even if you don’t think there is any risk, you should still dispose of old prescription medication and keep current prescriptions somewhere secure.

Now could be a good time to talk to your young person about substances, they might be suffering with anxiety or low mood due to the pandemic (or because they can’t go out and see their friends) and might need some ideas to help them manage this without turning to substances. You can find lots of information and advice about coping with family life in the current situation here

If you’re concerned about your child’s substance use you can call YZUP on 01872 300816 for advice or to make a referral – we will need the young person’s consent for this. Our workers will then make contact with the young person and offer remote support in a way that is suitable for the young person.

Coronavirus and diet

Below is some information from the Care Home Support Dietitians in relation to Coronavirus/Covid-19 and diet which you might find helpful.

The BDA (British Dietetic Association) is also a good resource for up to date information around diet and Covid-19.

Firstly, it is important as always for residents to maintain good nutrition and hydration. For those affected by Covid-19 try to encourage an ongoing regular food and fluid intake, even if they are feeling unwell and have a poor appetite. Adults are usually advised to have 6-8 mugs or large glasses a day, but this may need to be higher for someone with a high temperature. The British Dietetic Association has a useful fluid fact sheet.

For those with a small intake or who are at risk of malnutrition encourage them to eat ‘little and often’ with an emphasis on more energy dense foods and fluids.  This can be done by fortifying the food they are having, offering nourishing snacks, using fortified milk and offering nourishing drinks.  Please see our local leaflet giving more information on this.

Unintentional weight loss due to disease or infection is not a good thing, whatever a person’s original body weight, as it can result in malnutrition which in turn increases the individual’s risk of infection as well as slowing down their recovery and making them more vulnerable to pressure sores, weaker muscles and falls.  You are recommended to continue screening your residents for malnutrition risk using the MUST calculator, taking into account appropriate infection control measures.

Myth busters:

  • There are no specific foods or vitamin or mineral supplements that will prevent a person catching Covid-19. Eating a well-balanced diet can help support the normal functioning of the immune system, and so it is important to continue to eat well and have a range of foods. However no individual nutrient, food or supplement is going to boost your immune system. Good hygiene practice remains the best means of avoiding infection.
  • There is currently no evidence to suggest that the COVID-19 virus is transmitted when handling or preparing food. Please continue to follow general food safety advice; washing hands thoroughly, cleaning surfaces and separating raw meat/fish from other foods when preparing food.


Other useful information:

Diabetes –Diabetes UK answers some questions around diabetes and Covid-19.

Coeliac disease – residents should continue to maintain a gluten free diet.  Coeliac UK answers some questions around Coeliac disease and Covid-19.

If you have any further queries you can contact Rachel Baker or Karen Garvican, Care Home Support Dietitians at:

A momentary distraction

As the Covid period goes into its second week  lots of memes, information and other related messages are in circulation.

Mental resilience is one area where being able to take some time out, even if it is just for a few minutes, can make a difference.  These are just two examples of different things to consider to support yourself which you may wish to share with your staff:

  • Google Earth have launched virtual tours of 31 of the world’s most incredible national parks. From Yellowstone to Yosemite you can enjoy the wonders of them all from the comfort of your home by downloading the app to a phone or accessing via a Chrome browser.
  • Future Learn is an online platform that offers a wide variety of training courses, some need to be paid for, but many can be accessed for free.

There are also a number of resources and information on the Council website around mental health in Cornwall and also ways to stay entertained with suggestions for things to do at home.  These may be useful for you, your staff, or, as appropriate, those you are caring for.


Useful information and guidance:

If you have a concern about either an adult or a child please see the following contact information:

Safeguarding Adults

Safeguarding Children

Other information

The latest Covid-19 information is available from the Council’s website and it is being constantly updated.

The OSCP Website (Our Safeguarding Children Partnership) offers areas for parents and cares, young people and professionals, as well as a dedicated Coronavirus information area to offer advice links to families who may need support with emotional health and wellbeing issues.

Due to the Covid-19 outbreak people are spending more time online to connect with family and friends. This may be putting more young people at risk, therefore it is essential to ensure safe use for children and young people. For more information read Invite-only parties and staying safe online during Covid-19 lockdown



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