National poison prevention week is March 19-25, 2017. Every year about 2.4 million people swallow or have contact with a poisonous substance. One-half of these cases involve children under 6 years of age. Most poisonings occur at home when parents are home, so it is important to poison proof your home and pay attention to your children. Chemicals that are potentially the most dangerous include: medications, cleaning products, antifreeze, windshield wiper fluid, pesticides, furniture polish, gas, kerosene and lamp oil.
- Always store chemicals and medications in their original package in locked cabinets, out of sight and reach of children.
- Use safety latches, but realize these can sometimes fail. The safest is to keep dangerous chemicals and products out of reach of children.
- Medications should be in the original bottle with safety caps.
- Never refer to medication as candy.
- Properly discard unused medication.
- Always check labels when administering medications to children. Double check dosing. Use the dosing device that comes with the medication.
- Never place poisonous products in food or drink containers.
- Maintain functioning smoke and carbon dioxide detectors.
- Keep coal, wood or kerosene stoves is sake working order.
- Secure all items that contain small button batteries which can cause injuries if ingested.
If your child has come in contact with poisonous substance or you suspect swallowed a button battery and has mild symptoms or no symptoms at all, call Poison Help at 1.800.222.1222. If there are symptoms such as altered mental status, unconsciousness, difficulty breathing, seizures, etc., call 911 immediately. Just remember an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.