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Helpful tips during Poison Prevention Week


Last updated 3/20/2008 at Noon

March 16-22 is National Poison Week.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), approximately 2.4 million people (more than half of whom are under the age of 6) swallow or have contact with a poisonous substance each year.

AAP has released the following poison prevention tips to keep children safe:

• Store medicine, cleaners, paints/varnishes and pesticides in their original packaging in locked cabinets or containers, out of sight and reach of children.

• Install a safety latch that locks the door on child-accessible cabinets containing harmful products.

• Purchase and keep all medicines in containers with safety caps. Discard unused medication.

• Never refer to medicine as “candy” or by another appealing name.

• Check the label when giving a child medicine to ensure proper dosage.

• Never place poisonous products in food or drink containers.


If a child is unconscious, not breathing or having convulsions or seizures, call 9-1-1.

If a child has come in contact with poison and has mild or no symptoms, call the California Poison Control Center at (800) 222-1222.

Different types and methods of poisoning require different, immediate treatment:

• Swallowed poison: Remove the item from the child and have the child spit out any remaining substance. Do not make a child vomit.

• Skin poison: Remove the child’s clothes and rinse the skin with lukewarm water for at least 15 minutes.

• Eye poison: Flush the child’s eye by holding the eyelid open and pouring a steady stream of room temperature water into the inner corner.

• Poisonous fumes: Take the child outside or into fresh air immediately. If the child has stopped breathing, start cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and do not stop until the child breathes on his or her own or until someone can take over.

Provided by Rady’s Children’s Hospital


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