National Poison Prevention week focuses on medications

More than 2 million poisonings are reported each year to the nation’s poison centers.

The Kansas Poison Control Center received over 30,000 calls in 2013. Approximately three out of every four calls were for a child under the age of five.

The majority of child poison exposures are from medication.

“Keep medicine and vitamins locked away, out of sight and reach,” Cherie Sage of Safe Kids Kansas said. “Remember that child-resistant packaging does not mean child-proof, and children learn how to open these medications by watching us do it in front of them repeatedly.”

Safe Kids Kansas and the Poison Control Center offer these additional tips:

  • Always store potential poisons in a locked location, and out of sight of children. Dangerous household items include makeup, personal care products, plants, pesticides, lead, art supplies, alcohol, carbon monoxide, and detergent pods for laundry and dishwashers.
  • Never give adult medications to children.
  • Never call medicine candy or tell children it tastes like candy.
  • Always use dosing device packaged with medications.
  • Never use household utensils such as a teaspoon or table spoon to measure medication.
  • Remind grandparents, babysitters, and visitors to keep purses and bags that contain medicine up and away when they visit your home.
  • Parents and grandparents should be mindful of weekly pill-minders. While convenient for keeping track of dosages of medications, they are also easy for kids to open. If you use these, keep them out of sight and reach of children.
  • Program the toll-free number for the Poison Control Center (800) 222-1222 into your home and cell phones. It is advised to also post it near your phone or on your refrigerator.
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