Posted: Wednesday, March 20th 2013 at 1:09pm
Safe Kids 'alarmed' at # of youngsters treated for medicine poisoning
GAINESVILLE - Safe Kids Worldwide Wednesday released a new research report that found kids are getting into medicine at an "alarming" rate.
Every minute of every day, a poison control center receives a call about potential medicine poisoning for a child age five and under. And 67,000 times each year, or every eight minutes, a young child goes to the emergency room for medicine poisoning. This is a 30 percent increase over the past ten years.
In its report entitled An In-Depth Look at Keeping Young Children Safe Around Medicine, Safe Kids examines data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, information from poison control centers and findings from several focus groups among moms. The report reviews what is happening in households that lead to these disturbing numbers and offers parents simple things they can do to protect their children.
“Ask any parent, and they will tell you they store medicine where children can’t get them,” said Kim Martin, Safe Kids coalition coordinator for Gainesville/Hall County. “But they might not be thinking of pills stored in purses, vitamins left on counter tops or a diaper rash remedy near a changing table.”
In 86 percent of emergency room visits for medicine poisoning, the child got into medicine belonging to an adult.
“Curious kids can get into trouble fast,” added Martin. “It only takes a few seconds for children to get into medicine that could make them very sick. Take a look around your house to make sure all medicine is up and away and out of sight.”
To celebrate National Poison Prevention Week, Safe Kids Gainesville/Hall County will host a table at the Healthy Habits Expo at Interactive Neighborhood for Kids (INK) this Sunday from 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm.
Tips to Keep Kids Safe Around Medicine
• Put medicine and vitamins up and away and out of sight. (In 67 percent of emergency room visits for medicine poisoning, the medicine was left within reach of the child, such as in a purse, on a counter, or under a sofa cushion.)
• Even if you are tempted to keep it handy, put medicine out of reach after every use.
• Look around your home for products you might not think about as medicine, like rubbing alcohol, eye drops or gummy vitamins, and store them out of the reach of children.
• When you have guests in your home, offer to put purses, bags and coats where kids can’t get to them. (In 43 percent of emergency room visits for medicine poisoning, the child got into medicine belonging to a relative, such as an aunt, uncle or grandparent.)
• Be alert to medicine in places your child visits. Take a look around to make sure there isn’t medicine within reach of your child.
• Program the nationwide poison control center number (1-800-222-1222) into your phones.
• Visit SafeKids.org for more tips on safe storage, safe dosing and safe disposal of medicine.
Other Poison Prevention Resources
Link: Safe Kids
Link: Safe Kids Gainesville/Hall County
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