Caption for Attached Photo: WIC & Casemanagment Staff with the Henry and Stark County Health Departments show posters displaying some common items that could be ingested by young children and result in accidental home poisonings. The Health Department is noting Poison Prevention Week, March 19-25.
The Henry and Stark County Health Department and its First Choice Healthcare Clinic staff announce that March 19-25 has been proclaimed National Poison Prevention Week. For the past 62 years, National Poison Prevention Week has worked to educate and inform consumers of the dangers of unintentional poisonings. These efforts have contributed to a significant decline in injuries and deaths.
Still more than 2 million poisonings are reported each year to the Nation's poison centers. According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, approximately 90 percent of poisonings happen at home, and 51 percent of poisonings involve children under the age of 6. The majority of fatal poisonings occur among adults, especially older adults.
"By educating local residents about preventative steps in the home and in their lives, we believe we all can make serious progress in keeping our families safe," states Heather Aldred, RN Health Department Maternal and Child Health Services Supervisor. "But it is vital that people arm themselves with basic information on poison prevention in the home, such as keeping chemicals out of reach of children and carefully reading the labels and dosages on all products."
In addition to the poison prevention tips above, parents and caregivers should follow these safety tips to reduce the risk of unintentional poisonings.
1. Use child-resistant packaging properly by closing the container securely after each use or, if available, choose child-resistant unit packaging, which does not need to be re-secured.
2. Call (800) 222-1222 immediately in case of poisoning.
3. Do not put decorative lamps and candles that contain lamp oil where children can reach them. Lamp oil can be very toxic if ingested by young children.
4. Always turn the light on when giving or taking medicine so you can see what you are taking. Check the dosage every time.
5. Avoid taking medicine in front of children.
More than 2 million poisonings are reported each year to the Nation's poison centers. Among the potentially toxic household products referenced in calls to the poison control centers were:
* Personal care products, including baby oil and mouthwash containing ethanol;
* Cleaning substances, including drain openers and over cleaners;
* Over-the-counter pain relievers - including ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and aspirin - and cough and cold medicines;
* Hydrocarbons, such as lamp oil and furniture polish; and
* Adult-strength vitamins and supplements containing iron.
The Health Department staff notes, while significant strides have been made in poison prevention, every day there are new parents, grandparents and childcare providers who may not be aware of the potential for poisonings.