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The third full week of March is National Poison Prevention Week. Established in 1961, NPPW strives to educate about the dangers of poisoning and point out potential risks that many people might overlook. How prevalent is poisoning? In the US, poisoning is the #1 cause of injury and death, and 50% of poison exposure cases are for children under 6. Those statistics are scary, but fortunately, keeping your kids and family safe from accidental exposure just takes a bit of preparation and precaution.

In The Home

  • Regularly inspect your home for dangerous substances and hazards, making sure things are properly labeled, sealed, and put away.
  • Keep harmful products in their original containers and store them out of sight and reach of children.
  • Secure cabinets and drawers containing dangerous objects with latches or locks.
  • Read labels carefully and always use the correct measuring cups and syringes for the medications you’re dispensing.
  • Keep alcohol and nicotine away from spaces where kids can access them.
  • Ensure your home’s smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are functioning properly and located where they should be.
  • Never refer to medicine, especially chewable medicine or gummy vitamins, as candy.

Button Batteries and Magnets

Be extremely cautious of any objects or toys around your home, vehicle, or childcare provider that contain button batteries or strong magnets. Both can cause extreme internal injury if ingested and may be difficult to diagnose in an emergency.

Poisoning Preparedness

Poisonings happen quickly. If you suspect poisoning has occurred, call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 or your child’s pediatrician. If your loved one is having a serious reaction, call 911 immediately.