This is poison prevention week…March 18-24th!
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every year 60,000 children end up in an emergency department because they took medications while their parent was not looking and over a half million calls each year are made to the poison control centers for the same reason! In recognition of National Poison Prevention Week, the CDC is encouraging everyone to program the Poison Control number into their cell phones: 1-800-222-1222. Take a moment and do it now!
Tips for parents: http://www.cdc.gov/MedicationSafety/parents
- Never leave children alone with medicines. If you are giving or taking medicine and you have to do something else, such as answer the phone, take the medicine with you.
- Do not leave medicines out after using them. Store them in medicine cabinets or other childproof cabinets that young children cannot reach.
- When purchasing medicines for young children, check to make sure they are in child-resistant packaging that you are comfortable using.
- Put the poison control number, 1-800-222-1222, on or near every home telephone and save it on your cell phone.
Poisonous substances in the home:
- Always read labels before using a product.
- Keep all products in their original bottles or containers. Do not use food containers such as cups or jars to store cleaning solutions or other chemicals. Children could drink or eat these substances when in confusing containers.
- Never mix household products together. For example, mixing bleach and ammonia results in a toxic gas.
- Think about using fewer chemicals in your home. Try “green” cleaners like vinegar and baking soda.
- Store all medicines and poisonous items out of reach and locked. Think of layering protection for your child. Store items up out of reach and in a latched cabinet.
- When you are taking or giving medications, do not put the next dose on the counter or leave the bottle out near your child
- Secure the child safety cap every time you use a medicine.
- Never call medicine “candy”.
- Always put cleaning supplies or other chemicals away as soon as they are used.
- Dispose of outdated medications. Do not flush them. Many pharmacies will have medication collection days, check with your pharmacy. If you do not have access to that type of disposal, mix the medications in coffee grounds or used kitty litter and dispose of them in the trash.
- Remain calm.
- Call 911 if you have a poison emergency and the person has collapsed. If the person is alert and awake call poison control immediately.
- Try to have this information ready:
- the victim’s age and weight
- the container or bottle of the poison if available
- the amount consumed if possible
- the time of the poison exposure
- the address where the poisoning occurred
- Stay on the phone and follow the poison control directions.
- If there was something toxic on the person’s skin, begin rinsing with water, and follow further instructions from poison control.
- If there was something splashed into the eyes, begin rinsing with water, and follow further instructions from poison control.
- If the poison was inhaled, have someone bring the person outside for fresh air, and follow further instructions from poison control.
- If the poison was swallowed, wait for instructions from poison control.
Take a breath, enjoy the joyful moments of each day, and remember you don’t have to be perfect to be the perfect parent.