March 7, 2005
Methodist Rehabilitation Center warns parents about the importance of poison control
By Susan Christensen
Health and Research News Service
JACKSON—Children can get into things fast and parents need to be prepared.
That is the message Lauren Fairburn at Methodist Rehabilitation Center wants people to remember during National Poison Prevention Week, March 20-26.
“A child is poisoned every 30 seconds in the United States,” said Fairburn, coordinator of Think First, the Jackson hospital’s statewide safety and injury prevention program. “Parents and caregivers should be especially cautious around children under age 6—who are the victims of 60 percent of all poisonings.”
Dr. Rahul Vohra, medical director at Methodist Rehab, says that some of the most dangerous poisons are prescription medications, household cleaning products, pesticides and antifreeze.
Don’t overlook everyday products too, Dr. Vohra said. Plants, perfumes, alcoholic drinks, mouthwash and cigarette butts can be poisonous to a child. “Make sure harmful chemicals and medicines are out of sight in a locked cabinet,” he said.
Dr. Vohra recommends keeping all household medicines and poisons in their original, labeled, child-resistant containers. “Given enough time, a curious child can get most containers open,” he said.
Things to know when you call Poison Control:
- Child’s age and weight
- Child’s current condition
- Name of the product, ingredients and amount ingested
- Time of poisoning
Think First tips for poison preventions:
- Post the poison control number—1-800-222-1222—on or near every home telephone.
- Never refer to medications as candy.
- Stay alert while using poisonous household products. While cleaning, know where children are and never leave a child alone in a room with a poisonous product.
- Never put potentially poisonous products in something other than their original container.
- Never mix household and chemical products together and open all windows and doors when using chemicals.
- Make sure plants inside and out are not poisonous to children.
- Install carbon monoxide detectors near the bedrooms in your house.