“National Poison Prevention Week” is a week nationally designated by congress since 1961 to highlight the dangers of poisonings and how to prevent them.
Child-resistant packaging is credited with saving hundreds of children’s lives since its introduction in the 1970’s. Still, there is no substitute for active supervision and childproofing.
Almost half of poison exposures for children under the age of five are caused by medicine. Children have faster metabolisms than adults and anything they ingest will be absorbed into the bloodstream very quickly. If a product label says “keep out of reach of children”, there’s a reason.
Each year, unintentional poisoning is the cause of death for approximately 100 children ages 14 and under and poison control centers in the United States receive 1.2 million calls as a result of accidental poisoning of children 5 and under.
Nearly 90 percent of these toxic exposures occur in the home, and 56 percent involve non-pharmaceutical products such as cosmetics, cleansers, personal care products, plants pesticides, art supplies alcohol and toys.
LeFlore County Health Department offers these tips:
*Lock up potential poisons out of sight and reach of kids. This includes makeup, medicine, plants, cleaning products, pesticides, art supplies, beer, wine and liquor. A child can be poisoned in a matter of seconds.
*Don’t refer to medicine or vitamins as candy and don’t involve children as helpers with your medication. Choose medicines and products that have child-restraint caps. When you are giving medicine to your children, follow dosage directions carefully. Keep products in their original containers. Read labels to learn if a product is poisonous and for first aid information.
*If your home was built before 1978, test for lead-based paint and get your child tested for lead exposure. Children inhale the dust of lead-based point and can build up enough lead in the blood to affect intelligence, growth and development.
*Install a carbon monoxide alarm outside every sleeping area and on every level of your home. Carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless gas that builds up around fuel-burning appliances and cars in garages. It can make a child seriously ill in concentrations that would barely affect an adult.
In recognition of “National Poison Prevention Week”, LeFlore County Health Department nurses will be at Wal-Mart in Poteau on Tuesday at 9 a.m. providing important information on how to protect your child from poisoning.
For more information contact LeFlore County Health Department at 918-647-8601.