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Indiana Poison Expert: Curiosity Can Put Kids in Dangerous Situations

PHOTO: It's National Poison Prevention Week, and experts in Indiana are educating residents about the dangers of accidental poisonings and how they can keep their families safe. Photo credit Microsoft Images
PHOTO: It's National Poison Prevention Week, and experts in Indiana are educating residents about the dangers of accidental poisonings and how they can keep their families safe. Photo credit Microsoft Images
March 18, 2014

INDIANAPOLIS - Most people know to keep items such as bleach and antifreeze out of the reach of little ones, but experts say there are other dangers lurking in the home that Hoosiers may not consider. According to Dierdre Davis, the coordinator for poison prevention at the Indiana Poison Center, over-the-counter medications are very dangerous for children, but their curiosity can put them at risk of a dangerous situation. She said the old trick of putting medication up high may not keep a small child away.

"Children climb and they're resourceful," she noted. "The handbag is actually another place, because the first thing they do when they want something is go dig through Mom's purse."

Her advice is to lock up those items, perhaps in a medicine cabinet or even something as unconventional as a tackle box. It's National Poison Prevention Week, and experts are raising awareness about how to avoid accidental poisonings.

When it comes to household cleaning products, Davis said it's advised to always keep them in their original containers because if they aren't, they can be confused easily with something else.

"In one presentation that I do, I actually show a picture of a Powerade bottle, and it actually has windshield wiper fluid in it. And at first glance, would a young person know that that's not blue Powerade as opposed to windshield wiper fluid?", she asked.

Anyone who suspects an accidental poisoning has occurred can call the Indiana Poison Control helpline, 800-222-1222. Davis said it is better to err on the side of caution.

"A lot of times, parents are worried that CPS will be called, or people who don't speak English are worried about being deported because of a poison emergency. We do not share that information. We are simply here to help."

Last year, the center received more than 59,000 calls.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - IN