March 19th through March 25th, 2017 is National Poison Prevention week. The goal of this week is to educate individuals about poisoning risks and hazards and how to prevent poisonings. According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, children under the age of six account for half of all poison exposures. In 2013 alone, Safe Kids Worldwide states that over 59,000 children were seen in emergency room for medicine poisoning.
As more than 90% of poisonings occur in the home, it is important to know how to safely store medications and other items, such as e-cigarettes, that could lead to unintentional poisonings.
Following these tips can help keep your home a safe place for all ages.
Read product labels to be aware of what products are hazardous. These items can include cleaning products, cosmetics, medications, vitamins, and other hazardous items such as batteries and e-cigarettes.
Place items that pose the risk of poisoning up and out of reach of children, such as in high cabinets they cannot reach that are locked to prevent easy access.
Store e-cigarette products out of sight and reach of children and do not use and refill e-cigarettes around children as this could lead to dangerous exposure. According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, there was a 145% increase in calls to the poison control centers involving e-cigarettes and liquid nicotine between 2013 and 2014.
If you have un-used or expired medication that will no longer be used, dispose of it properly to prevent the possibility of medication poisoning.
Post the number for the Poison Control Center, 1-800-222-1222, somewhere in your home that is easily visible. Have the number programmed in your phone and ensure babysitters or caregivers also have the number saved in their phone or know where it is posted in your home.
Being aware of what items are hazardous is important for the safety of your children. Children can easily mistake medications or other hazardous items as candy or gum and this can pose danger of poisoning if the child puts the object in their mouth. Following the tips above can help prevent the possibility of your child accessing hazardous materials that pose a risk of poisoning.
For more information on poison and medication safety or for general childhood safety information, please call the Center for Childhood Safety at (920) 272-0110 or visit www.ccsgb.org.