Brighton, Mich. — Poison exposures with serious outcomes have increased 4.6 percent per year since 2000, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC). As National Poison Prevention Week (March 16 - 22) approaches, Safe Kids Huron Valley reminds parents to make sure they store medications and hazardous materials out of their children’s sight and reach in the home.
In fact, in the home is where 9 in 10 poison exposures with children happen! Tragically, unintentional poisoning is the cause of death for nearly 100 children ages 14 years and under each year. Pharmaceutical products, cosmetics, cleansers, personal care products, pesticides, and art supplies, are among the causes for the poisonings.
Young children by their very nature are curious, and it is natural for them to explore their surroundings -- unless they’re getting under the kitchen sink or into the medicine cabinet. This explains why half of the 4.3 million calls to Poison Control Centers each year are for exposures and ingestions among kids ages 5 and under.
“Based on cases reported to Poison Control Centers, half of all poison-related deaths among children ages 5 and under involve medicine,” said Amber Kroeker, Safe Kids Huron Valley Coordinator and Injury Prevention Health Educator for Mott Children’s Hospital. “Child-resistant packaging is credited with saving hundreds of children’s lives, but there is no substitute for parents’ active supervision and childproofing.”
Safe Kids Huron Valley encourages parents and caregivers to program the toll-free Poison Control Center number: 1-800-222-1222 in their phone. “Keep it near every phone in your home and program it into all cell phones,” said Kroeker. “This number connects you to your local Poison Control Center from anywhere in the United States.”
Safe Kids Huron
Valley offers these additional tips for parents:
· Always store medicines, vitamins, and household cleaners in a locked cabinet or out of your child’s sight and reach.
· Choose products with child-resistant packaging whenever possible but understand that no container is truly child-proof.
· Never give adult medications to children.
· Never refer to medicine as candy even if you are struggling to get your child to take it. This may only
encourage him/her to ingest more when you are not around, particularly if it tastes or smells good.
· Always use the dosing device packaged with the medications. Never use a household utensil, such as a
teaspoon or tablespoon, to measure medication.
National Poison Prevention Week is a week nationally designated by Congress since 1961 to highlight the dangers of poisonings and how to prevent them.
About Safe KidsSafe Kids works to prevent unintentional childhood injury, the leading cause of death and disability to children through age 14 in the United States. Throughout the world, almost 1 million children die of injuries each year, and every one of these tragedies is preventable. Safe Kids Worldwide is a global network of organizations dedicated to preventing unintentional injury. Safe Kids Huron Valley is proudly led by University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and works in Washtenaw and Livingston counties. Visit Safe Kids Huron Valley on Facebook