As we age, we tend to take more medications in order to manage various health conditions. Some of those medications may be oral, and some may be delivered via injection. If you are taking care of your adult parents, knowing what to do with your full sharps container is important.
What Are Sharps?
Sharps are injection devices. They may include lancets that are used to prick fingers to check blood glucose levels, and needles used to deliver medications like insulin.
What Type of Container Do I Use?
Sharps are never to be disposed of in the normal trash can. A needle stick can transmit disease and cause injury. Sharps should only be disposed of in marked sharps containers. These are colored plastic bins with tight-fitting lids. There will be a biohazard label affixed to the container.
Sharps containers in the United States are typically red in color and you may have been given one with your prescription of injectable medication. (Sharps containers in other countries may be blue or yellow). You can easily find replacement containers when you need them at your local pharmacy. If they aren't on the shelf, simply ask your pharmacist to provide you with one. You may also be able to find them at your local health department.
If you are unable to get a sharps container for whatever reason, it is recommended that you dispose of your needles in a container with a screw on lid. An empty bottle of detergent works well. Write "Used Sharps, Do Not Recycle" on the outside of the bottle and store it where no one has access to it.
Disposing of Sharps Containers
You can visit SafeNeedleDisposal.org to learn more about how to dispose of your filled containers appropriately. Because laws vary by state, you should ask your health care provider, pharmacist or local health department how to get rid of containers that are full. Typically, throwing out a full container with the trash is against the law.
Needle safety does not end after you've given an injection. The way that you dispose of your sharps is very important and can protect the health of people in your household as well as trash collectors and those who work at the local landfill. Never throw your used needles in the garbage, and don't toss out filled sharps containers without first checking on the legalities in your location.
If you are taking care of your aging parents and need healthcare supplies, we have you covered. We carry everything you need, including sharps containers. Visit our website and browse our online shop at your convenience. If you have any questions, reach out to our customer service team for answers. We are happy to provide you with any information we can.