Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
The theme of this year's Poison Prevention week was, "Children Act Fast ... So Do Poisons!" Sadly, this statement is true. In the amount of time it takes a parent to answer a phone call or to see who's at the door when the doorbell rings, a toddler can find her way to the kitchen cleaners under the sink or to the medicine in the cabinet. Consider the following statistics: In 2005, there were more than 2.4 million poisonings reported to Poison Control Centers across the U.S. More than 50 percent of all poisonings occurred in children under the age of six; 90 percent of all poisonings occur in the home. Here are a few simple tips that can keep your child safe: 1. Keep all household chemicals and medicines (prescription and over the counter) in a locked drawer or cabinet - it is important that they are out of reach and out of site of children at all times. 2. Make sure to use child-resistant packaging. 3. Never refer to medicine as "candy" or anything else desirable for children. 4. Check the label each time you give a child medicine to ensure proper dosage - Even safe drugs like kid's Tylenol can be hazardous if the wrong dosage is given. 5. For immediate treatment or answers to your questions, call the Poison Control Center's national hotline at (800) 222-1222. Take the time to talk with your kids about hazardous substances. Let them know they should never eat or drink anything that they can not identify. Don Keenan, internationally recognized child advocate and founder of the Keenan's Kids Foundation, has published a book on child safety titled, 365 Ways to Keep Kids Safe, which is available from www.balloonpress.com or www.amazon.com. All proceeds benefit the Keenan's Kids Foundation.