Poisoning is a common and dangerous incident. It is also a big worry for parents, babysitters, and anyone involved in caring for another. This week marks the start of National Poison Prevention Week, and staff here at SES decided to put together a list of ways to prevent accidental poisonings.
Our Top Tips for Preventing (and treating) Accidental Poisoning:
- Install a safety latch on any cabinets that hold medicine, household cleansers, or any other harmful products.
- Test those latches! Children are smart and creative-a latch is not a 100% guarantee, and children can often find ways around a security latch if given enough time alone.
- Check the label on medicine (both prescription and OTC) before administering. Just because you administer the medication everyday is no reason to become less-than vigilant.
- Purchase and keep all medicines in the original bottles with safety caps. Do not decant medicines into ‘more attractive’ containers, or mix old and new medications in the same container.
- And for that matter, any potentially hazardous material should be stored in its original container. This means that information about the material (paint, cleansers, medications) will be easily accessible if an emergency does arise.
- Keep purses, briefcases, laptop bags off the floor. Children (and pets!) love to explore the pockets of things Mommy and Daddy carry. Perfume, lipstick, medications, can all present hazards-poisoning and choking.
- Do not administer home remedies for poisoning, unless instructed to by the Poison Control Center. No ipecac, no activated charcoal, no milk, no water–wait for professional instruction.
- Most Importantly – Remember the Poison Control Number: 800-222-1222. When in doubt if a poisoning has occurred-call!
- When you call the Center, have the following information available: Victim’s age, weight, any existing health issues, what substance was involved and was it ingested or was contact through skin, have they vomited, any first aid already given?
For more information, visit the Poison Prevention Week Council’s website: www.poisonprevention.org.
For a fun page for kids, check out http://kids.niehs.nih.gov/mryuk.htm – a cute page designed by the National Institute of Health to promote Poison Safety to children.