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Poison Prevention Tips

The Centers for Disease Control defines poison as any substance that could be harmful to the body when inhaled, ingested, absorbed through the skin or injected. The CDC has conducted comprehensive research to understand the scope of the poisoning risk facing children. Children in particular may be exposed to greater risks of being poisoned as a result of the fact that they often cannot read the labels and do not understand the serious problems that can result if they ingest or touch a particular type of poison.

Ensuring that poisons are located in a safe place and are preferably locked up and away from the reach of the child is one way to decrease the number of severe poisoning incidents that occur. Many of these poisoning incidents are completely preventable and it is unfortunately the children and the parents who realize all too late that some simple preventative steps could have helped to decrease the number of accidents happening that affect children. Research from the CDC shows that:

  • In 2008 more than 90% of undetermined and unintentional poisoning deaths were a result of ingesting drugs such as prescription medication.
  • Nearly 14% of the more than 41,000 poisoning deaths in the United States in 2009 were unintentional.
  • Up to 76% of the poisoning deaths were unintentional and 8% had undetermined intent within a one year period.
  • More than 71,000 children had to visit the emergency department due to medication poisonings between the years of 2004 and 2005 and more than 80% of these children were left unsupervised and took medications.

The vast majority of poisoning exposures affect children under age 6 but it is important for parents and caregivers as well as teachers to realize that any child can become the victim of a poisoning incident. One of the most important ways to prevent poisoning problems is to understand the value of poison control centers. These can be crucial in helping to prevent poisonings throughout communities. They can also be a place for the state to save money as well by educating others about the risks. Following poison prevention tips can help to decrease the number of fatalities and serious injuries affecting children every single year in the United States. It can be difficult to deploy all of the poison prevention tips but these can be extremely important in decreasing injuries. First of all:

  • Store any household products out of a child's reach or sight.
  • Read product labels to determine if there is anything inside that could be hazardous to kids.
  • Be mindful of any product such as laundry pods that may look like candy and may be accidentally ingested by a child.
  • Install child safety locks on any cabinet where poisonous items are stored.
  • Ensure that cleaning products are kept in their original containers.
  • Never leave poisonous products unattended while in use. Many poisoning accidents occur when adults are distracted for just a couple of minutes.
  • Review your cabinets every several months to throw away potential poisons and old medicines. The basement storage areas and your garage are common places that you may have materials that you no longer need.
  • Look inside your purse for any medications that could be accidentally ingested by a child when you look away.
  • Where possible, use child resistant packages.
  • Make sure that all medications, including adult medicines and vitamins are properly stored out of reach or out of sight of children. Even if you are tempted to keep it close by, put your medicine out of reach after every single use.
  • Make sure you have the toll-free number for poison control already programmed into your cellphone and home phone. Any caregiver who is responsible for taking care of your children should also know how to contact the poison control center directly.
  • If a child may have ingested poison, do not request that he or she vomit unless you've been directed to do so by a professional.

Was your child injured in a poisoning incident because of an accident caused by someone else's negligence? If so, you may need to talk to a New York personal injury lawyer.

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