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Keeping Little Hands Away from Dangerous Products

About 70 percent of parents and caregivers admit they've stored medications where children can see them. (cdc.gov)
About 70 percent of parents and caregivers admit they've stored medications where children can see them. (cdc.gov)
March 19, 2018

INDIANAPOLIS — Every nine minutes in this country, a child under the age of six has to go to the emergency room because of accidental medication poisoning - and every twelve days, the incident is fatal.

The Indiana Poison Center receives about 60,000 calls for help a year. March 18-24 is Poison Prevention Week, and Safe Kids Worldwide has released a report called Safe Medicine Storage.

Morag Mackay, group's director of research, said parents and caregivers often think childproof containers are enough to protect youngsters.

"Kids are fast,” Mackay said. “When we talk to parents that come into emergency rooms, they say, 'I turned my back for like less than a minute, and when I turned around, she had the bottle in her hand and had it open.'"

The research found in about half of over-the-counter poisoning cases, the child climbed on a toy, a chair or other object to reach the medicine. Mackay added that while most parents agree that it is important to store medicine out of reach of children after every use, seven in ten admit they've stored pill bottles in places a child could get to them.

She said while medication-poisoning cases are on the rise, other common products around the house can also be dangerous, and sometimes deadly.

"Not just prescription medicine or over-the-counter medications like cough and cold medicines,” she said. “We're talking things like vitamins and supplements, and even some things that you wouldn't think of as being toxic or poisonous to kids, like diaper cream."

If a child does ingest something poisonous, the number to the Indiana Poison Center is 1-800-222-1222.

Veronica Carter, Public News Service - IN