WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Poison Prevention Week starts March 19. Julia Phelps, with Safe Kids Cape Fear, said kids often get into things they should not.
She offered a few tips to make sure your family stays safe.
- Place medicines, including vitamins, in high storage places out of a child’s reach.
- Most children get into medicines that are found on the ground or misplaced (27%), left in purses (20%), and on nightstands (20%).
- Install a child safety lock on cabinets or consider a personal lock box.
- Clean out old, unused and expired medications frequently.
- Child-resistant does not mean child-proof; with time and persistence a child may be able to open the packaging.
- Common forgotten medications include: make-up, art supplies, eye drops, diaper rash cream, laxatives, vitamins, and vapor rub creams.
- The leading cause of non-medical exposure calls to poison control centers for children age 5 and under were due to cosmetic and personal care products.
- Grandparents medication account for majority of poisonings (38%); mother’s medicine (31%); sibling’s medicine (12%); father’s medicine (8%); aunt/uncle medication (5%); known/other source (6%).
- Use medications the way they were intended and prescribed to be used.
- Don’t adjust your dosage without consenting your prescriber.
- Read the label and use the measuring device that came with the medication.
- Kitchen utensils such as teaspoon and tablespoon will not measure the same as the device that came with the medication.
- Never share medications, even amongst household members.
- Never use “leftover” medications.
- The integrity of medications can change over time.
- Give clear instructions for medications to grandparents or caregivers that may watch the child in your absence.
- Include time of dose given, amount of dose given, and the next time the dose can be administered.
- Unused medications should be disposed as soon as possible to prevent unintentional use, diversion, or accidental ingestion.
- Medications should not be thrown in the trash, sink or toilet.
- There are medication disposal events and permanent medication drop boxes in New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender County.
- Upcoming drop off events:
- NHRMC Medical Mall on Saturday, April 1st from 9am-12pm.
- Dosher Memorial Hospital in Southport on Thursday, April 6th from 9am-1pm.
What to do if your child ingests a potentially harmful substance:
- Store the number to the Poison Control in your phone: 1-800-222-1222
- Place the number on your refrigerator for babysitters or other caregivers to access quickly.
- Trained pharmacists, nurses and doctors with backgrounds in poisons and medications are the ones that answer the phone.
- It’s a confidential call and available 24/7.
- If the child has collapsed, is not breathing, or has a seizure, call 911.
- Do not give the child anything to ingest until you have discussed it with the poison control center.
- Drinking water may make the situation worse and activate the substance.
- Have the container or bottle on hand to answer questions when calling.