March 18-24 is National Poison Prevention week. The goal of this week is to educate individuals about poisoning risks, hazards, and prevention. According to Safe Kids, every 12 days a child in the U.S. dies from getting into medication. Every hour, a child under six years old is hospitalized for the same reason.
Center for Childhood Safety, Prevea Health, and HSHS St. Vincent Children’s Hospital are committed to the overall safety of children and providing families with information and resources to reduce the chances of poisoning. More than 90% of poisonings occur in the home, so 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 such as cleaning products, cosmetics, medications, vitamins, batteries, and e-cigarettes
• Place hazardous items up and out of reach of children, such as in high cabinets
• If you have unused or expired medication, dispose of it properly
• Post the number for the Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) somewhere in your home that is easily visible. Program the number in your phone and ensure babysitters or caregivers also have the number saved in their phone