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Poison prevention: 'What does your child see ...'

Article Published 03/15/2010

March 15, 2010

LAYTON — To a small child, the world is full of shapes and colors. They really don't know the difference between a bottle of juice and a bottle of cleaner. Kids taste, smell and touch everything they see. The safety of your child is in your caring hands. Many parents remember their parents saying "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." Prevention is the key!

Did you know that National Poison Prevention Week was March 15-21?

The Utah Poison Control Center (UPCC) received more than 56,000 calls in 2008. Of these calls, more than 60 percent involved children less than 6 years old.

While children are at highest risk for poisonings, people of all ages are at risk. The most common substances associated with poison exposures in children younger than 6 are:

• Cosmetics and personal care products
• Household cleaning substances
• Analgesics
• Topical preparations and creams
• Cough and cold preparations

Approximately 90 percent of all poisonings occur in the home. Safeguarding the home environment is critical. The poison control center urges people to help prevent poisonings by making sure that each room in the house has been checked for potential poisoning hazards and steps are taken to make the home environment safer.

The following tips can help safeguard you and those around you:

Kitchen — Store cleaners, medicine, and vitamins/herbals in their original containers, on a high shelf, out of sight and away from food products. Use child resistant closures on these products. Note: While cleaning, if the phone or doorbell rings, take the product with you. Put safety latches on all drawers and cabinets where harmful products are stored.

Bedroom — Remove all medicines from dressers and side tables. Check that all perfume, cosmetics and powders are out of reach. Make sure all jewelry is stored where children cannot reach.

Bathroom — Potentially harmful products should be stored on a high shelf with safety latches or locks on them. Be aware of these products: mouthwash, hair products, talcum powder, cleaners, cosmetics, drain cleaning products, aftershave, fluoride rinses and nail products.

Laundry — Keep all products in original containers. Store bleach, stain removers, detergents, and fabric softener out of reach of children and in a locked cabinet.

Garage/Basement/Storage Area — Keep all products in original containers. Secure insect spray, weed killer and other gardening products, turpentine, car care products and other potentially harmful substances in locked storage. To dispose of chemicals, contact your local household hazardous waste for information on proper procedures.

Call the poison control center immediately at 1-800-222-1222 if a poisoning occurs. Waiting to see if symptoms will arise can be very dangerous. The poison control center is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week year-round. Calls are free and confidential.