Accidental poisoning can occur any time, any place and at any age. To protect your child from poisonous hazards, make poison safety education a priority during this month’s National Poison Prevention Week.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 374 children are treated in emergency departments and two children die as a result of poisoning every day.
Taking Appropriate Precautions
Regardless of your child’s age, it’s important to teach him or her about potential hazards lurking around your home. Although accidental poisonings are often associated with toddlers and infants, elementary-aged children are at risk, too. To help ensure your child is safe at home, implement the following poison precautions:
- Keep medicine and other chemicals in their original containers. While you may be able to keep track of re-labeled prescriptions or cleaners, these items can be confusing for your child. Whether you’ve refilled a milk jug with chemicals or your child’s vitamin container with another medication, switching the contents of a container can be deadly. Keep items in their original packaging with the label intact.
- Store poisonous household products in locked cabinets. Some of the most common poisoning ingestions involve pain relievers such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen, prenatal vitamins, and cosmetics and personal care products. Keep all toxic chemicals and other items out of reach and in a secure location.
- Talk to your child about what to do in the event of accidental poisoning. If your child is old enough to babysit or stay home alone, ensure he or she knows the Poison Control Center number and understands the importance of seeking immediate medical attention.
If you suspect your child has suffered an accidental poisoning, call the National Poison Control Center at 1.800.222.1222.
Reviewed by Lytitia Shea, M.D., pediatric hospitalist, Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at St.Vincent.