Health and Family Services Cabinet
March 18-24 is National Poison Prevention Week
Keeping Young Children Safe from Poisoning
FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 20, 2012) – This week, which marks the 50th anniversary of National Poison Prevention Week, the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) is highlighting the dangers of poisonings and how to prevent them.
Unintentional child poisonings with household substances such as pain relievers, household cleaning products and personal care products remain a serious public health concern. In fact, more than 25,000 child poisonings occur in Kentucky each year, according to the Kentucky Regional Poison Center Hotline. Calls about poisoning in children younger than 6 years old account for about half of the total calls placed to the hotline.
“Poisonings, particularly among children, are an extremely serious, and sometimes deadly public health issue,” said Dr. Steve Davis, acting DPH commissioner. “The good news is poisonings are preventable and, in the event they do occur, there are services like the Regional Poison Center to assist.”
Public Health recommends following the guidelines listed below to keep your household safe:
• Keep all household cleaning products out of reach from children and/or make sure the child-resistant safety caps are fastened correctly.
• Keep prescription and over-the-counter medicines, including vitamins, out of sight and out of reach of children, or lock them up.
• Keep perfumes, nail polish removers and powders out of reach of children.
• Dispose of expired prescription medicines at your local pharmacy or prescription drop-off center.
• Keep products in their original containers, with their original labels. This will provide you and the poison control center with valuable information in case of accidental poisoning.
For accidents or questions involving medicines, chemicals or household products, call the toll-free Kentucky Regional Poison Center Hotline at 800-222-1222 to be connected to a poison expert. The emergency hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including holidays. Help is available in more than 150 languages.