Monday, March 15, 2010

National Poison Prevention Week

As you may or may not know, March 14 - 20 is National Poison Prevention Week. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, approximately 2.4 million people (more than half under the age of 6) swallow or otherwise come in contact with a poisonous substance each year. In an effort to raise awareness, I thought it appropriate to dedicate a post on how to poison-proof your home and what to do should your child become poisoned.

To poison-proof your home:
  • Store medicine, cleaners, paints/varnishes, and pesticides in their original packaging in locked cabinets or containers, out of sight and/or reach of children.
  • Install a safety latch on child accessible cabinets containing harmful products.
  • Purchase and keep all medicines in containers with safety caps. Discard all unused medication.
  • Never refer to medicine as "candy" or another appealing name.
  • Check the label each time you give a child medicine to ensure proper dosage.
  • Never place poisonous products in food or drink containers.
  • Keep coal, wood, or kerosene stoves in safe working order.
  • Maintain working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Poison treatment:
  • Swallowed poison - Remove the item from the child and have the child spit out any remaining substance. DO NOT MAKE YOUR CHILD VOMIT!
  • Skin poison - Remove the child's clothes and rinse the skin with lukewarm water for at least 15 minutes.
  • Eye poison - Flush the child's eye by holding the eyelid open and pouring a steady stream of room temperature water into the inner corner.
  • Poisonous fumes - Take the child outside or into fresh air immediately. If the child has stopped breathing, start CPR and do not stop until the child breathes on his/her own or until someone can take over.
As always, if your child is unconscious, not breathing, or having convulsions/seizures due to poison contact or ingestion, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately. Also, if your child comes in contact with poison but has mild or no symptoms, you can contact your poison control center by calling 1-800-222-1222.


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