National Poison Prevention Week is observed in the United States the third week of March every year. Over half of the 2.4 million cases of poisonings reported to poison control centers each year involve children less than 5 years of age.
To help keep your little ones safe, please check out these tips below:
- Put the toll-free number for the Poison Control Center (1.800.222.1222) into your cell phone and post on the fridge.
- Store all household products out of children’s sight and reach. Young kids are often eye-level with items under the kitchen and bathroom sinks. So, any bleach, detergents, dishwasher liquid or cleaning solutions that are kept there should be moved to a new storage location. This also applies to chemicals that may be in a garage or shed.
- Keep cleaning products in their original containers. Never put a potentially poisonous product in something other than its original container (such as a plastic soda bottle) where it could be mistaken for something else.
- Be aware of any medications that may be in your handbag. Ask visitors to place their handbags in an area that the children cannot get to.
- Make sure that all medications, including vitamins, are stored out of reach and out of sight or children. Even if you are tempted to keep it handy, put medicine out of reach after every use. When you need to give another dose in just a few hours, it may be tempting to keep medicine close at hand. Accidents can happen fast. It only takes a few seconds for children to get into medicine that could make them very sick. Put medicine up and away after every use. And if you need a reminder, set an alarm on your watch or cell phone, or write yourself a note.
If you are interested in learning more about poisoning safety, please visit safekids.org.
Dr. Jenny Bush
Cherry Health Pediatrician and Director of Pediatrics