SAFETY WEEK 2016
Unintentional poisoning includes the unsupervised ingestion of drugs or chemicals, “overdoses” or the excessive use of a drug and exposure to environmental substances.
The most common poisons include prescription and over-the-counter medications, cleaning products and personal care products. Eighty percent of incidents occur when a child eats or swallows over-the-counter and prescription medicines when an adult wasn’t watching.
Children are poisoned by pills or liquid medicine left unattended on countertops and tables, loose in purses or found on the floor. In 2008, poison control centers reported receiving calls about 2.5 million human poison exposure cases.
Parents are more likely to make mistakes when giving medicines to infants and toddlers than to older children. For example, half of the mistakes leading to emergency room visits from cough and cold medicines occur when giving medicines to infants and toddlers.
The following safety tips can help prevent this type of incident from occurring in your household:
- Store medicines and vitamins up and away, out of reach and out of sight of young children.
- Put medicines and vitamins away every time you use it. This includes medicines and vitamins you use every day.
- Tell your children what medicine is and why you must be the one to give it to them. Never tell children medicine is candy to get them to take it, even if your child does not like to take his or her medicine.
- Listen for the click to make sure the safety cap is locked.
- Put the poison control number, 1-800-222-1222, on or near every home telephone and save it on your cell phone.
- Read all of the information on the package label and follow the directions. Do not give a child medicine more often or in greater amounts than is stated on the package.
- Use only the measuring device (dropper, dosing cup or dosing spoon) that is included with the product.