Safe Family Report: Poison

By: Paige Tebow
By: Paige Tebow

Every year, nearly 78,000 children under 5 years old get emergency treatment for accidental poisonings. That's one every seven minutes! This Safe Family report shows you how to prevent poisonings in your home.

"We just aren't aware of how quickly and how easily our kids can get into just about anything,” says Donne’ Hamilton, RN.

More than a million times a year, poison control centers take calls from parents after their children have been poisoned. Most of the cases involve medicine and household chemicals.

Your medicine cabinet is the first stop for your home safety checkup. First, make sure medicines have child-resistant packaging. Always keep medicine in its original container, and keep it out of sight where children can't reach it.

"Women are very bad about carrying prescriptions in their purses, and children can get into them.” Hamilton says. “They're very curious by nature; they want to taste everything. Don't talk about medicine being candy."

Keep all of your household chemicals like cleaners locked up and out of sight. When you're using the products don't turn your back on young children.

"You take all the precautions you can,” she says. “Keep in mind your back can only be turned very quickly, and they can get into things. So, keep the number for the poison control center at your telephone, and be ready to call it if need be. If there is an incident, get your child to the emergency room as soon as possible."

The number for poison control is 1-800-222-1222.

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