POISONING PREVENTION IN KIDS
A new U.S. study in the Journal of Pediatrics suggests that there has been an increase in the number of children 5 years old or younger who were accidentally poisoned by pharmaceutical products. Between 2001 and 2008 there was a 22% increase in these poisoning incidents, even though the population under 5 years old only increased by 8% in that period. More than half of the hospital visits for accidental poisonings were because of prescription medications, especially narcotic pain medications, tranquilizers or sleeping pills, and heart medications.
In Canada, both over the counter and prescription drugs account for 2/3 of accidental poisonings in kids under the age of 14. But with the proper precautions, these accidents can be prevented. The main strategy is to secure your medications, lock them away out of reach of kids, even if you use them daily.
You may want to think about storing your medications in a box that you can lock with a key, or secure with a padlock.
Or if you keep your medications in a cabinet, make sure you can lock the doors.
Keeping the medications in the original packaging can provide an extra level of safety, especially if the container is childproof. This can also help to avoid confusion as to whether the pills are candy.
And remember to keep the phone number of your local poison control service in a place where you can easily access it in an emergency – sticking the number to your refrigerator may be a convenient choice. And of course if you don’t know the poison center’s number call emergency services at 9-1-1 if you think someone may have been poisoned.
For a full list of tips to prevent child poisoning, see: http://bit.ly/oK9iPl