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Wellness: Safety Tips to Avoid Poisoning

Poisoning is a significant world-wide problem that affects millions of people each year.

About Poisoning Hazards

Poisoning happens when a toxic substance is inhaled through the mouth or nose, ingested, injected under the skin, or allowed on the skin or in the eyes.

Common Substances That Can Cause Poisoning

Information taken from Healthcommunities.com

  • Automobile fluids (e.g., gasoline, antifreeze, windshield fluid)
  • Cosmetics and other personal care products
  • Household cleaning products (e.g., drain cleaners, dishwasher detergent)
  • Over-the-counter or prescription medications (e.g., analgesics such as acetaminophen, cough and cold medicines, vitamins)
  • Foreign objects (e.g., toys, batteries)
  • Paints and paint thinners
  • Pesticides (e.g., insecticides, weed killers, rodenticides)
  • Plants
  • Art supplies and office supplies
  • Alcohol
  • Food products
  • Herbal medicines

Poisoning Facts and Figures

According to Poison Control, one poison exposure is reported to a US poison control center every 14.9 seconds.

Children younger than age 6 comprise the largest number of those unintentionally affected by poisoning, yet teens and adults who are poisoned have a higher risk of a moderate, major, or fatal effect, according to Poison Control data.

Of the adults and teens who are poisoned, a great number of them are intentionally performed for suicidal purposes. The World Health Organization estimates that deliberate ingestion of pesticides causes 370,000 worldwide deaths each year.

Poison Prevention

Information taken from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • For Drugs and Medicine
    • Only take prescription medications that are prescribed to you by a healthcare professional.
    • Never take larger or more frequent doses of your medications, particularly prescription pain medications, to try to get faster or more powerful effects.
    • Never share or sell your prescription drugs.
    • Follow the directions on the label when you give or take medicines. Read all warning labels.
    • Turn on a light when you give or take medicines at night so that you know you have the correct amount of the right medicine.
    • Keep medicines in their original bottles or containers.
    • Monitor the use of medicines prescribed for children and teenagers, such as medicines for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD.
    • Dispose of unused, unneeded, or expired prescription drugs.
  • For Household Chemicals and Carbon Monoxide
    • Always read the label before using a product that may be poisonous.
    • Keep chemical products in their original bottles or containers.
    • Never mix household products together. Some mixtures can result in toxic gases.
    • Wear protective clothing if you spray pesticides or other chemicals.
    • Turn on the fan and open windows when using chemical products such as household cleaners.
  • For the Protection of Children
    • Do not put your next dose on the counter or table where children can reach them.
    • If you have to do something else while taking medicine, take any young children with you.
    • Secure the child safety cap completely every time you use a medicine.
    • After using them, do not leave medicines or household products out. As soon as you are done with them, put them away and out of sight in a cabinet where a child cannot reach them.
    • Be aware of any legal or illegal drugs that guests may bring into your home. Ask guests to store drugs where children cannot find them.

If Poisoning Occurs

If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call 911. If the victim is awake and alert, dial 1-800-222-1222.

Contact an Experienced Poison

At Thomas J. Henry, we have the experience and legal resources to handle your child’s injury case. If your child has been the victim of a poisoning due to the negligence of an individual, property owner, or company, call us today for a free legal consultation. Our experienced child injury lawyers are available 24/7, nights and weekends.

Contact Us for a Free Case Review


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