Prevent Accidental Poisonings in Your Home

Where do you store your medicine, cleaning supplies, or items such as bug spray? If you are like most of us, you may have said in a cabinet or under the sink. Storing items such as these may not seem to be a big deal, however, incorrectly storing these items could put your children at serious risk for accidental poisoning. It only takes a bit of time and effort to drastically decrease the chances of this happening.

Let’s take a look at a few statistics according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers.

  • 91% of poisonings take place at home.
  • Poisoning is the leading cause of injury-related death in America.
  • The exposure to cleaning products we typically store within the home is the second leading cause of poisoning in children.

Although these thoughts and numbers may pose as fear-invoking, you can easily make changes to where you store potentially harmful items. Storing harmful items in areas that are out of reach to children can lower the risk of poisoning. There is a common misconception that “storing” the medicines you may not take on a regular basis is enough, but it is important to do the same with medicines you take frequently. Let’s go over simple, yet effective ways to protect your children from accidental poisonings.

  1. Keep all medicine out of the sight or access of children, even if it is something you take daily. Children are inquisitive and will get into items such as medications if it is within their reach.
  2. Child-proof areas that you may store your cleaning supplies, or medications. Items such as safety cabinet locks can prevent children from gaining access to these items or try storing them out of sight and out of reach.
  3. Buy items with child-resistant packaging when you can. If medication bottles or cleaning supplies are not child-resistant, it is crucial to store these items both out of sight and out of access.
  4. Use alarms to keep track of medication intake. Instead of leaving medications on counters or surfaces that children can get to, set alarms to remind yourself when to take the medication.
  5. Keep and list the Poison Help number in your phone and home for yourself and caregivers: 1-800-222-1222. There are 24-hour services provided to help you with poison related questions, emergencies, and overall medicine safety.

It may not be possible to entirely eliminate the chance of accidental poisoning, but it is possible to take steps to decrease the risk of this happening. Being more aware and taking preventative steps to eliminate access to medications or cleaning supplies can heighten your child’s at home safety. Take a look at these links for more resources on this topic.

https://www.safekids.org/checklist/medication-safety-checklist

https://www.safekids.org/tip/parent-medication-tip-card-pdf

A Parent’s Guide to Child Safety

Usually summer is full of camp, sleepovers and maybe even a vacation. This year it looks quite different. As we continue to try to navigate all of our priorities at once some things may slip through the cracks. Active supervision might be one of these as we have seen a nationwide increase in accidental injuries to children.

Being in the hospital is never where we want to be but it is more important than ever to try to stay safe and healthy to allow our healthcare staff to focus on our truly sick patients. (This does not mean to avoid the hospital or wait longer than normal if you have an emergency! It is absolutely worth going and safe to do so when needed!)

Safe Kids Worldwide recently put out a colorful and easy to follow booklet with proven advice and top tips to help reduce your family’s risk of injuries and to keep kids safe at home, at play and on the road. We know you are busy but taking a few minutes a day to make your home safer over the next few weeks will give you piece of mind and can prevent a future accident from happening. Download the booklet below and take action today!

Keep Medications Up and Away

Today’s world is a fast-moving and busy place. Parents often struggle to balance competing demands while working hard to make safe and healthy choices for their families. With more medicines in the home than ever before, parents face increasing challenges to protect their children from accidental medicine poisonings.

Every day, poison control centers get a call almost once a minute because a young child got into medicine and emergency departments see enough children each day to fill roughly four school buses for the same reason.

You wouldn’t rely on only telling toddlers to stay away from pools to protect them from drowning, and it’s the same with medicine. Young children are naturally impulsive, and parents can’t rely on just talking to them about the dangers of medicine.

Here are some steps your family can take to keep young children safe from accidental poisoning:

Store all medicine up and away and out of sight and reach every time.

Safe medicine storage means out of sight and out of reach, not one or the other. To be safe, medicine should be stored out of sight in a cabinet or drawer where children can’t see it and out of reach (at or above counter height).

Keep medicine in its original child-resistant packaging. If you or another family member do choose to use a pill organizer or baggie to help manage taking medicine, make sure you always store it up and away and out of sight and reach.

Practice safe storage of medicine as soon as your first child is born. Babies as young as 3 weeks of age have ended up in the emergency department after getting into medicine left within reach.

Put the Poison Help number – 1-800-222-1222 – into your phone and post it visibly at home.

Instead of keeping medicine handy, use safe reminder tools to help you remember when to take and give doses.

Set an alarm on your watch or cell phone or write a note to yourself and leave it somewhere you look often, like on the refrigerator door. Try combining taking daily medicines with a daily task like brushing your teeth or using a medication schedule card.