Poisoning

April 28, 2016

Every day, over 300 children in the United States ages 0 to 19 are treated in an emergency department, and two children die, as a result of being poisoned. It’s not just chemicals in your home marked with clear warning labels that can be dangerous to children.

Most poisoning accidents involve medicines, household products and cosmetics. Some poisoning agents can cause breathing difficulties – seek medical attention immediately.

Prevention

  • Lock them up and keep medicines and chemical out of sight and reach of children. Keep medicines and toxic products, such cleaning solutions, in their original packaging where children can’t see or get them. Always store chemicals in their original containers.

  • Wherever possible, buy products in child resistant containers.

  • Know the number. Put the nationwide poison control center phone number, 1-800-222-1222, on or near every telephone in your home and program it into your cell phone. Call the poison control center if you think a child has been poisoned but they are awake and alert; they can be reached 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call 911 if you have a poison emergency and your child has collapsed or is not breathing.

  • Read the label. Follow label directions and read all warnings when giving medicines to children.

  • Dispose of unwanted medicines and chemicals safely. Safely dispose of unused, unneeded, or expired prescription drugs and over the counter drugs, vitamins, and supplements. To dispose of medicines, mix them with coffee grounds or kitty litter and throw them away. You can also turn them in at a local take-back program or during National Drug Take-Back events.

  • Avoid buying plants with poisonous leaves or berries or those that can irritate the skin.

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Resources:

http://www.cdc.gov/safechild/Poisoning/index.html

http://www.rospa.com/home-safety/advice/child-safety/accidents-to-children/