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[cancer] Things you don't think about but probably should - Lakeshore
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Jay Lake
Date: 2012-12-15 08:09
Subject: [cancer] Things you don't think about but probably should
Security: Public
Tags:cancer, family, friends, personal
Recently a youthful visitor to my house was playing unattended in my bathroom and spilled open my pillbox. There are five different prescription drugs in that pillbox that would be readily harmful or fatal to a child, and several more that would make a child very miserable. There are additional prescriptions about the counter that would also be harmful or fatal.

It has never occurred to me that I needed to access-proof my bathroom. Although my house is reasonably high traffic, almost everyone who comes here is well known to me. (Including the pill-spiller.) And as such, is trusted by me to be sensible. And frankly, access-proofing my medications would be a giant pain in the neck.

So what do I do? In the short run, I'm considering requiring all non-residents of the house to use the downstairs bathroom. That doesn't change the fact that a destructive (accidental or purposeful) visitor, or a drug-seeking visitor, couldn't just slip into my bathroom for a look around. It just never occurred to me that this could be a factor. About the only possible solution I can imagine is installing a locking cabinet.

Just what I fucking need. A drug safe.

I miss the days when the most dangerous thing in my bathroom besides the cleaners under the sink was my statin drugs. Sigh.

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PolyDad
User: polydad
Date: 2012-12-15 16:15 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
A sensible proposal I've read (but regrettably lost the source for) suggested that since the two argued purposes for weapons other than self-defense are hunting and overthrowing the government, that bolt-action long-arms be completely unregulated and all other arms be banned.

Worth a thought.

best,

Joel
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Autopope
User: autopope
Date: 2012-12-15 17:18 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
You missed: farmyard duties (shooting vermin). This is the rationale for gun control in the UK, by the way -- it's relatively easy to get a license for a bolt-action rifle or double-barrel shotgun, especially if you live in the countryside, but handguns are totally illegal, as are suppressors/silencers, because they're seen as having no legitimate uses.

(I am British and I do not agree with this state of affairs, BTW, but I think it's less harmful than total deregulation would be.)
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PolyDad
User: polydad
Date: 2012-12-15 21:02 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
What do you think would be the best practical and feasible state of affairs re: guns, then?
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Autopope
User: autopope
Date: 2012-12-15 21:27 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I live in the UK. Here's where I think the British firearms laws are too strict:

I would like to be able to go to a gun range, rent a handgun, make holes in paper targets, then go home, leaving the handgun behind. Or own a handgun stored at a gun range for my use at the range.

I don't think regular folks have any call to keep handguns at home unless (a) they're high-level target shooters (in which case we're talking single shot highly customized .22 devices, not Glocks), (b) historical re-enactors (black powder muzzle-loading pistols are legal to own in the UK at present), or (c) have some very specific need: e.g. they're James Bond and the Home Office thinks it's appropriate to make an exception to the normal rules.

Rifles and shotguns: I'm happy with the current system in principle, but think the license withdrawal process needs to be tightened up; the past 3-4 spree killings in the UK have all been carried out by folks who were legal gun owners and who had run-ins with the police licensing officers -- in a couple of these cases, licenses were revoked and then re-granted.

Heavy stuff (grenade launchers, machine guns, crew-served weapons): should be legal to rent at a target range, subject to licensing with background checks, and monitoring by qualified staff. Absolutely no reason for anyone to keep such devices at home, period.

Air rifles (airsoft, etc): the Scottish government is legislating to require licenses for ownership of these, after one incident in the past decade in which a loony shot and killed a toddler. (Ass-hats shooting cats and dogs is, alas, a lot commoner.) Licensing them is, I think, a Good Thing. Unfortunately they want licensees to prove that they have a need for the airgun, which is a Bad Thing; I'd rather the license for airguns was granted by default unless the licensee had a history of criminal or psychiatric problems, rather than the deny-by-default approach.

The USA:

The approach I outline above is what I think is appropriate for city dwellers in a nation with a big, efficient police presence that can respond to notification of a violent crime within an average of 4 minutes, with marksmen deployed within 6 minutes. Obviously the USA has fewer actual cops and a much wider area and the problem of there being 200 million guns already in private hands. Worse: bans on accessories such as high-capacity magazines are going to be ever-harder to enforce as we move into the era of cheap 3D printing (in metal, as well as plastic). So any solution is going to need to be very long-term, and focus on harm prevention and demand reduction rather than a simplistic top-down ban or licensing regime. Otherwise there's a very real risk of a War on Handguns developing and following the pattern of the War on Drugs (i.e. being counterproductive).
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fledgist
User: fledgist
Date: 2012-12-15 21:55 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I live in a suburb where there are feral animals and the occasional coyote. I've thought of getting a bolt action rifle. I suspect it would reduce the other major pest, door-to-door evangelists, as well. However, I gather there's a permanent closed season on them for some reason.
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adelheid_p
User: adelheid_p
Date: 2012-12-15 16:44 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
If your concern is children getting access accidentally, there are child proofing mechanisms that you can get for regular cabinets, but if your concern is adults who have more nefarious purposes then something more is in order.
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Autopope
User: autopope
Date: 2012-12-15 17:15 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
+1. I was going to suggest a childproof lock on the medicine cabinet. Along with maybe a note saying IF YOU CAN READ THIS, ASK JAY BEFORE POKING AROUND INSIDE - CONTENTS MAY BE HARMFUL.

(I should really do this myself. Some of my antihypertensives could land someone who didn't know what they were in hospital.)
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russ
User: goulo
Date: 2012-12-15 18:15 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
This will probably be an unpopular thing to say, but isn't it the responsibility of the visiting parents to make sure their kids don't go running around the host's house unattended, or if they do run around, that the kids know not to eat random crap they find?

The idea that you should be obliged to install a drug safe or whatever in your own house, when you yourself don't have kids too young/stupid to go swallowing random pills, seems wacky to me. It's your house. Sorry, but I'm not seeing how it's a host's responsibility to hide all the possibly dangerous stuff just because a guest visits with their kids and lets the kids go exploring unattended. Should you lock up all the matches and kitchen knives and hammers and nails and plastic bags and cover all the electrical outlets too?
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adelheid_p
User: adelheid_p
Date: 2012-12-15 19:03 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'd split the difference. If I frequently had young children in my house then I would make sure that dangerous drugs were out of their reach (not necessarily in a safe). If I were a parent of a young child and were told something along what you are suggesting, I might avoid the risk all together and I don't think Jay wants his friends not coming over to visit either. It only takes one distraction to lead to a tragic accident.
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Autopope
User: autopope
Date: 2012-12-15 21:28 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Simplest option: a hook and eye fastening on top of the medicine cabinet, out of reach (and hopefully out of sight) of toddlers.

By the time they're old enough to force it they're hopefully also old enough to know better.
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Amy Sisson
User: amysisson
Date: 2012-12-15 22:09 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
My first thought as well. Why not stop every parent at the front door, explain the medication situation, and tell them it is upon them to keep their child away from that bathroom. The last thing you need is to take on more of a burden.

If the child is being left in your home without his/her parent, perhaps make it a strict ground rule that they do not leave the first floor (or if not possible, that they do not use the upstairs bathroom), and that they do not eat anything without checking with you first.

If the parent isn't comfortable that that offers enough protection, he/she shouldn't have their child in your house just now.
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willyumtx
User: willyumtx
Date: 2012-12-16 03:12 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
This is my thought as well. Warn the parent/caregiver if they come to your home with children. They are responsible for watching over their charges.

If you were babysitting, that would change the situation. Then you would be the caregiver, albeit temporarily.

Now, if you have children who are trained to look for and steal drugs while the adults are otherwise occupied, you have a different sort of problem.
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smoking catnip and chasing my tail: fuck
User: jettcat
Date: 2012-12-16 05:36 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:fuck
THIS!
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blue_23
User: blue_23
Date: 2012-12-17 02:37 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
No, NOT this.

I don't go into the bathroom with my 6 y.o - who is old enough to understand, and yet young enough to do something stupid and when you ask her why say "I don't know" or "I forgot!".

If you bubble wrap kids they'll never learn responsibility. But there's a period where you keep them from the egregious stuff (such as if I knew about the upstairs bathroom), but also need to give them some space to grow (such as allowing them to go to the bathroom themselves in a friend's house).

The comments of "the parents should always be 100% responsible for the children" leaves off the fact that if the children don't have a chance to be responsible for themselves, they'll never have a chance to mature into _responsible_ adults. But a child learning responsibility is still a child, and can still make mistakes that adults may avoid due to greater experience.

If I was in this situation, told parents, and something happened anyway to a young child I wouldn't be able to dismiss as "well, I told them". I'd feel *horrible* even through I warned them. I can't say Jay's reaction, but with how candid he's been about his limited number of spoons and heavy emotional load, why risk it?

The suggestion of making the upstairs off limits for visiting kids hopefully wouldn't put too much of an extra load on him, while still giving plenty of safety room for parents to control their children. Without assuming that parents need to be duct-taped to their children and must visit the bathroom with them.
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cathshaffer
User: cathshaffer
Date: 2012-12-15 18:46 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
We dealt with this when my Mom was living with us and we had a child and pets in the house. Irksome.
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Twilight: Daria
User: twilight2000
Date: 2012-12-15 21:30 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Daria
For most little kids, putting it out of sight, out of mind will be enough. If it's not there for them to see, they're far less likely to touch. A simple "hook-&-eye" closure near the top will stop most and be far less invasive than the safe.

We gated the upstairs when our friends had smaller kids so they couldn't get to our medicine cabinet - and kept the "average drugs" (pain killers & cold meds) in an upper cabinet in the kitchen so it was in view.

It doesn't fix the malicious, but keeps kids safer.
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fledgist
User: fledgist
Date: 2012-12-15 21:56 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'm inclined to agree with this approach. Small children like to explore.
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Rowan aka: The Seticat: * cat - klutz - kiraxlee
User: seticat
Date: 2012-12-15 23:56 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:* cat - klutz - kiraxlee
How about one of those generic, really cheap metal cash boxes that lock? You could put stuff in that and keep it up as high as you can - lock it or not, depending. It would keep everything in one place and might help keep things contained.
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frabjouslinz
User: frabjouslinz
Date: 2012-12-23 07:37 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Late to the party, sorry, but we got several file-safe or cash boxes to put our vitamins/drugs in to qualify for foster parents. They're not too awful, although I admit at this time we're not locking them, since there's no kidlet here yet. That or a child lock on the medicine cabinet, or the sink cabinet, wherever you're keeping them, will work fine for keeping younger kids out. Using the box with the combo lock will keep out the more than mildly curious. If you're still considering any of this, I can tell you which ones I like best.
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