National Poison Prevention Week, March 16-22 this year, is a week nationally designated to highlight the dangers of poisonings and how to prevent them. In particular, the dangers of medicine poisoning to children. Every year, more than 64,000 children go to an ER for medicine poisoning. In fact, 9 out of 10 poisonings occur in the home. According to the Virginia Poison Center, children in the toddler and preschool age groups are the most likely to be poisoned.
Medicine Safety Checklist
Medicine poses a particular danger because it often looks or smells like candy or drinks which attracts children. Here are a few tips to follow to reduce the risk of your children being poisoned by medicine
- Use the dosing device that comes with the medicine.
- Only give your child medicine that has been prescribed to him or her.
- If someone else is giving your child medicine, be clear about the dosage and provide written instructions.
- Make sure that all medicines are stored out of sight and reach, and to put them away after every use.
- Teach medication safety. Never compare children’s medicine to candy. Even if it tastes good, you don’t want to encourage them to seek it out.
- Tell older kids about the dangers of misusing or abusing prescription drugs or over-the-counter medicines.
- Properly dispose of any unused or expired medicines.
To download a complete list list visit: http://cdn.makesafehappen.com/medialibrary/files/checklists/ msh_medicinesafety_checklist
Properly disposing medications is just as important as storing medicine properly. Many may choose to flush or trash the medicine, however flushing or simply throwing medicine in the trash has its own set of considerations. Flushing medicine down the sink or toilet is not always the best method since some medications may be bad for the environment. Throwing it away with the trash leaves the risk that animals may get a hold of it, or criminals who may choose to resell the medication or use the labels to get your name and other personal information.
Check the medications label to learn if its is safe to flush. IF IS IT NOT, the following are guidelines to help you properly dispose of your medications:
- Keep medications in the containers with child-resistant lids firmly in place.
- Remove labels before discarding the medication or use a permanent marker to cover any personal information on labels.
- Place the liquids in a sealable plastic bag in case of leaks.
- Wrap glass bottles to prevent breakage.
- Mix medications with used cat litter or coffee grounds to deter people form taking the medication.
- Add a small amount of water to pills or capsules to partially dissolve them.
- Put the medication inside a used package such as a box or chip bag to hide it.
- Put the medication in the trash as close to pick up time as possible – do not place in recycling bins.
Poison Control Center
The Poison Control center can be reached 24/7 at 1-800-222-1222. Be sure to save this toll-free number into your home and cell phones. Also, consider putting the number in a highly visible place (such as on the fridge), where babysitters and caregivers can quickly find it.
Prevention and education is key to keeping children safe. WBR Insurance encourages Hampton Roads families to practice these simple steps to prevent tragedies, and to help spread the word about how to keep children safe during National Poison Prevention Week.
At Virginia Beach insurance company WBR Insurance we offer a full portfolio of policies. We pride ourselves in establishing personal relationships with our customers to assist you in protecting what matters most. To get a free quote for your Virginia Beach insurance needs, give us a call at 757-340-0028 or visit our website www.WBRInsurance.com.
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