Mar 25, 2013

Safety Tips for Poison Prevention

Before I kids, I never really thought about why medications have childproof locks and I didn't know the number to poison control. That is no longer the case now that I have three kids ages five and under. The very first time I had to call poison control, I was in a total panic. I had no idea how I could possibly go from zero to full blown panic attack until that moment.


One day about two years ago I walked into my kids' bathroom to find my 3 year old with a mouth full of vitamins and an empty bottle in her hands. I tried to remember just how many vitamins were still in the jar before she got into them, but I couldn't. I was pretty sure that there were about 20 vitamins in the jar and I immediately called poison control and had her spit out the remaining vitamins. After the operator assured me that my daughter was going to be fine, she told me that about 80 percent of her calls about toddlers are about getting into medicine or chemicals. And here I thought child proof locks meant that a kid couldn't open them. I think many parents assume the same thing.

What I learned from that incident was that child proof locks just means a kid will be slowed down by one, not that they cannot open the bottle. And that kids don't really understand that vitamins are not candy even though I tell them all the time that they cannot have more than one gummy vitamin at a time. After all, they look and taste like candy.




How I Prevent Accidental Poisonings Now
 
I now I have a bag with a lock on it for all our medicines. I keep the key up high where the kids cannot reach it. Even when they're sick and it's tempting to keep the medicine out, I always lock it back up. I'm not willing to take the risk after the vitamin incident. And now I make sure we dispose of medicines that we don't finish, especially pain pills. When family comes to town, we make sure they don't leave any medication in the bathroom where the kids can get into it-something that so many people over look.

Antacids can seem like candy to a kid and can cause harm if they ingest too much. I know it may seem extreme to lock up all our medications, but I knew how lucky I was that my daughter didn't get into something worse than vitamins. And I have the number to poison control programmed into my phone so I won't have to look the number up if I ever have to call again.
 

Tips to Keep Kids Safe Around Medicine 
  1. 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.) 
  2. 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. 
  3. 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.) 
  4. 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. 
  5. Program the nationwide poison control center number (1-800-222-1222) into your phones. 
  6. Visit SafeKids.org for more tips on safe storage, safe dosing and safe disposal of medicine.


Disclaimer - I wrote this review while participating in a campaign for Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Safe Kids Worldwide and I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

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