It is natural for children to explore their surroundings – unless they’re getting under the kitchen sink or into the medicine cabinet where hazardous chemicals and adult medicines are kept. As National Poison Prevention Week (March 14-20) takes place, the Bear River Health Department reminds parents to make sure they store hazardous materials – such as cleaning products or medication – out of their children’s reach.Each year, unintentional poisoning is the cause of death for approximately 100 children ages 14 years and under and poison control centers in the United States receive 1.2 million calls as a result of accidental poisoning of children ages 5 and under. Nearly 90 percent of these toxic exposures occur in the home, and 56 percent involve non-pharmaceutical products such as cosmetics, cleansers, personal care products, plants, pesticides, art supplies, alcohol, and toys.”It doesn’t take much to make a small child sick,” said Farrin Wiese, Injury Prevention Coordinator for the Bear River Health Department. “Almost half of poison exposures for children under the age of 5 are caused by medicine. Children have faster metabolisms than adults and anything they ingest will be absorbed into the blood stream very quickly.”Bear River Health Department reminds parents to learn the toll-free poison control center number: 1-800-222-1222. “Keep it near every phone in your home and program it into your cell phone,” said Wiese. This number connects you to your local poison control center from anywhere in the United States.”If a child is choking, having trouble breathing or having a seizure, call 911 instead” said Wiese. “Follow the 911 operator’s instructions. Do not induce vomiting or give the child any fluid or medication unless directed.”Bear River Health Department offers these addition tips:• Lock up potential poisons out of sight and reach of kids. This includes makeup, medicine, plants, cleaning product, pesticides, and alcohol.• Never leave kids alone with an open container of something you wouldn’t want them to ingest.• Don’t refer to medicine or vitamins as candy and don’t involve children as helpers with your medication.• Choose medicines and products that have child resistant caps. When you are giving medication to your children, follow dosage directions carefully.• Keep products in their original containers. Read labels to learn if a product is poisonous and for first aid information.• Install a carbon monoxide alarm outside every sleeping area and on every level in your home.• Know which plants in and around your home can be poisonous.• Discuss these precautions with grandparents and caregivers. They may have medicines that can be very dangerous to children and their homes may not be as childproofed as yours.For more information about poison prevention, call 435-792-6510 or follow the BRHD on Twitter.
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