Keeping Kids Healthy Advice
Almost 2.4 million people, more than half under six years of age, swallow or come in contact with poison. Poison prevention, as well as knowledge of appropriate and immediate treatment is important to protecting your child. The week of March 19-25 is National Poison Prevention Week. The American Academy of Pediatrics has compiled a list of important poison prevention tips, as well as treatment guidelines.
Poison-proof your home:
Most poisonings occur when children are not actively supervised. Potential poisonous substances common in households include medicine, cleaning products, antifreeze, windshield wiper fluid, pesticides, furniture polish, gasoline, and kerosene.
Store medicine, cleaners, paint/varnishes and pesticides in their original packaging in locked cabinets or containers and out of reach of children. Don’t keep cleaning supplies under the sink unless the cabinet has a lock on it.
Install safety latches on cabinets where you store harmful product that lock when the doors are closed.
Keep all medications in containers with safety caps, always discard unused medicine and keep medications out of the reach and sight of your child.
Never refer to medicine as candy or any other name that your child may find appealing.
Always check the dosage information for any medication that you are giving your child and never give medication to your child in the dark because you may give the wrong dosage or even the wrong medication.
Never put pesticides on the floors of your home.
Do not leave cleaning products or other household chemicals that you are using unattended when you are cleaning if there is a small child present.
Never place poisonous products in food or drink containers.
Store alcoholic beverages in a locked cabinet.
Keep coal, wood or kerosene stoves in safe working order.
Do not put decorative lamps or candles that contain lamp oil where your child can reach them.
Make sure that smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in working order.
If your child has come in contact with a poisonous substance, and he or she is unconscious, not breathing, or having convulsions or seizures call 911 immediately.
If your child has come into contact with poison, but has mild or no symptoms, call the poison control center at 1800-222-1222.
Different types poison and ways of poisoning require different immediate treatment:
Swallowed poison – Remove from the child and have him or her spit out any remaining substance. Do not induce vomiting or use ipecac.
Skin – Remove the child’s clothing and rinse the skin with room temperature water for at least 15 minutes.
Eyes – Flush the child’s eye by holding the eyelid open and pouring a steady stream of room temperature water into the inner corner of his or her eye.
Fumes – Take the child outside immediately for fresh air. If the child is not breathing, start CPR and do not stop until the child breathes on his or her own, or until someone else can take over.
Remember that it only takes a few minutes for a small child to grab and swallow something that could be poisonous, so protect your child by being aware of and removing potential poisonous substances.