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Protect Your Child - Poisons and Chemicals

Author Christina Houghton

79% of all poison control center cases involve children - 64 percent occur in children under age 5. Because children do not know the dangers of these deadly chemicals, it is important that manufacturing companies and caretakers go to great lengths to ensure that children are safely guarded from these hazards.

Child Poisoning Statistics

  • An estimated one in five children will be exposed to a potential poison before age 5.
  • An estimated 70 percent of accidental poisonings are preventable.
  • Between 2004 and 2005, an estimated 71,000 children (<18 years of age) were seen in EDs each year because of medication poisonings (excluding abuse and recreational drug use). Over 80 percent were because an unsupervised child found and consumed medicines.
  • Almost half, 47%, of all households with children under the age of five had at least one pesticide stored in an unlocked cabinet, less than 4 feet off the ground (i.e., within the reach of children).

Ways to Prevent Child Poisoning

A common thing to remember when “child-proofing” your home is that children will always look for new and interesting things to get into - which includes kitchen and bathroom cabinets. With this in mind, it is extremely important that parents and caretakers store all medicines and household products in childproof cabinets at all times. It only takes a moment for a child to pick up a medicine bottle or chemical and cause harm to themselves.

Also, be sure to teach your children that medicine and household cleaners are not something to be played with. Sometimes parents and caretakers may call medicine adult “candy” to identify that it is only for grown-ups. This is not a good idea as many children want to be “big kids” and they want to do what adults do.

Child Poisoning: What You Need To Do

The following advice was taken from the Centers for Disease Control website.

  • Remain calm.
  • Call 911 if you have a poison emergency and the victim has collapsed or is not breathing. If the victim is awake and alert, dial 1-800-222-1222. Try to have this information ready:
    • the victim’s age and weight
    • the container or bottle of the poison if available
    • the time of the poison exposure
    • the address where the poisoning occurred
  • Stay on the phone and follow the instructions from the emergency operator or poison control center.
Contact an Experienced Child Poisoning Injury Attorney

At Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys, we have the experience and resources to handle your child’s case. If your child has been the victim of a serious injury, contact our offices. We are available 24/7, nights and weekends.

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