February 1, 2000Grandparents! Prevent Your Grandchildren from Being Poisoned
36% of the childhood ingestions involved a
Washington, DC (SafetyAlerts) - A startling fact has
been learned in a study undertaken by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in
association with the Poison Information Center at the Children's Hospital in Birmingham,
Alabama. This study showed that 36% of the childhood ingestions involved a grandparent's
According to the study, grandparents often have
non-child-resistant prescription vials or loose pills out on tables, kitchen counters, or
in purses or pockets. Children swallow these medications when they are visiting
grandparents or when the grandparents visit them.
To prevent this continuing tragedy parents and
grandparents must keep medicines out of the reach-and out of sight-of grandchildren.
Grandparents should also use child-resistant vials
if they are able to. Although may obtain traditional, easy-to-open containers, by
asking their pharmacist for them, the child-resistant vials should be used whenever
children are around.
Children are curious; adults must help keep
children safe. Below are a few questions you can ask yourself that will help you
keep your children or grandchildren safe.
Do all harmful products in the cabinets
have child-resistant caps? Products like furniture polishes, drain cleaners and
some oven cleaners should have safety packaging to keep little children from accidentally
opening the packages.
Are all potentially harmful products in
their original containers? There are two dangers if products aren't stored in
their original containers. Labels on the original containers often give first aid
information if someone should swallow the product. And if products are stored in
containers like drinking glasses or pop bottles, someone may think it is food and swallow
Are harmful products stored away from
food? If harmful products are placed next to food, someone may accidentally get a
food and a poison mixed up and swallow the poison.
Have all potentially harmful products been
put up high and out of reach of children? The best way to prevent poisoning is
making sure that it's impossible to find and get at the poisons. Locking all cabinets that
hold dangerous products is the best poison prevention.
Did you ever stop to think that medicines
could poison if used improperly? Many children are poisoned each year by
overdoses of aspirin. If aspirin can poison, just think of how many other poisons might be
in your medicine cabinet.
Do your aspirins and other potentially
harmful products have child-resistant closures? Aspirins and most prescription
drugs come with child-resistant caps. Check to see yours have them, and that they are
properly secured. Check your prescriptions before leaving the pharmacy to make sure the
medicines are in child-resistant packaging. These caps have been shown to save the lives
Have you thrown out all out-of-date
prescriptions? As medicines get older, the chemicals inside them can change. So
what was once a good medicine may now be a dangerous poison. Flush all old drugs down the
toilet. Rinse the container well, then discard it.
Are all medicines in their original
containers with the original labels? Prescription medicines may or may nob list
ingredients. The prescription number on the label will, however, allow rapid
identification by the pharmacist of the ingredients should they not be listed. Without the
original label and container, you can't be sure of what you're taking. After all, aspirin
looks a lot like poisonous roach tablets.
If your vitamins or vitamin/mineral
supplements contain iron, are they in child-resistant packaging? Most people
think of vitamins and minerals as foods and, therefore, nontoxic, but a few iron pills can
kill a child.
THE GARAGE OR STORAGE AREA
Did you know that many things in your
garage or storage area that can be swallowed are terrible poisons? Death may
occur when people swallow such everyday substances as charcoal lighter, paint thinner and
remover, antifreeze and turpentine.
Do all these poisons have child-resistant
Are they stored in the containers?
Are the original labels on the containers?
Have you made sure that no poisons are
stored in drinking glasses or pop bottles?
Are all these harmful products locked up
and out of sight and reach?
When all your answers are "Yes," then
continue this level of poison protection by making sure that, whenever you buy potentially
harmful products, they have child-resistant closures and are kept out of sight and reach.
Post the number of the Poison Control Center near your telephone.