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Reducing Accidental Poisonings in New Mexico

PHOTO: New Mexicans are encouraged to make sure potentially harmful items are out of children's reach during National Poison Prevention Week. Photo courtesy St. Louis County, Minnesota.
PHOTO: New Mexicans are encouraged to make sure potentially harmful items are out of children's reach during National Poison Prevention Week. Photo courtesy St. Louis County, Minnesota.
March 20, 2014

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – As part of this week's National Poison Prevention Week, New Mexicans are being encouraged to make sure that potentially dangerous substances are kept out of the reach of children.

Jacqueline Kakos, health educator at the New Mexico Poison and Drug Information Center, says a lot of the 30,000 calls to her organization last year involved young children.

"About 43 percent of the cases that are managed by the New Mexico Poison Center are children under the ages of six years," she adds.

Kakos says medications, household cleaners, cosmetics and small batteries used in modern electronic devices are among the leading causes of poisoning in children.

She stresses these items should always be stored in locations and at heights where children can't reach them.

Kakos says some adults most often poison themselves by accidentally overdosing on a prescription or over-the-counter drug.

Others, she says, are attempting suicide.

"Medication-related poisonings are the greatest majority of calls that we get,” she says. “And that's not by age, that's across all ages. It's about 56 percent, so a little bit over half."

The New Mexico Poison and Drug Information Center is at 1-800-222-1222.




Troy Wilde, Public News Service - NM