The Pueblo West View

Time to check home for poisons

Have you taken a tour of your home recently? The third week in March is National Poisoning Prevention Week. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports every day, over 300 children in the United States ages 19 years and younger are treated in an emergency department as a result of being poisoned, and two of these children die.

Poisonings are not limited to the young. The American Association of Poison Control Centers

Reports in 2010, adults accounted for 92 percent of all poison-related deaths reported to poison control centers in the United States.

Take time to check your home for potential poison hazards such as household cleaners, chemical products, pesticides, containers of gasoline, medications (including over-the -counter medicines), and plants. Children are active, curious, and investigate their surroundings. Their investigation may lead to eating or drinking things they find.

Family pets can also be curious and poisoned by eating, licking, drinking, or rolling in a variety of things. People medications and food may be toxic to your pet; some plants are also poisonous to pets.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention tips to prevent poisonings include:

Keep medicines in their original containers

Never take larger or more frequent doses of medications

Read labels and follow directions on the labels, read all warning labels; some medicines don’t play well together and may cause an unwanted reaction with alcohol, other drugs, sun exposure, certain foods and drink

Store all medicines and household products away where children can’t reach them

Be aware of any legal or illegal drugs that guests may bring into your home, ask guests to store drugs where individuals/pets can’t reach them

Keep chemical products in their original containers - do not use food containers to store chemical products

Never mix household products together - some products don’t play together well and result in toxic fumes and other chemical reactions

Turn on the fan and open windows when using chemical products such as household cleaners

Wear protective clothing when spraying pesticides or using other chemicals

Discard old or outdated household chemical products

Don’t sniff containers if you don’t know what is inside

Be proactive rather than reactive. Help protect your family, friends, and pets from accidental poisoning. Reducing the risk of poisoning is not a onetime effort, it is an on-going process.

Keep the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center’s phone number posted by your phone and program it into your rapid dial and cell phone, 1-800-222-1222. It is free, available 24-7, and 365 days a year.

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