Making your Home Safe from Poisoning

Wednesday, March 22, 2017 - 8:43am

Finding and Securing the Hazards is Key to Safety

About 4,000 poisoning cases are reported in Dane County each year according to The Wisconsin Poison Center – an average of over 10 a day.  Nationally, half of poisonings involve children less than 6 years of age and approximately 9 out of 10 happen at home.
 
As an ongoing response to these problems and challenges, congress set aside the week of March 19th as Poison Prevention Week to help raise awareness of a problem that is the number one cause of injury-related death in the U.S. and remind the public that it is a problem that can be prevented. 
The sources of poisonings are varied.  Kids 5 and under tend to get in trouble with common household items like cosmetics, cleaning products, medications, and pesticides.  In those older than 5, over-the-counter, prescription, and street drugs and alcohol among other items present common poisoning opportunities. 
 
“The harm done by such poisonings is most often unintentional.  Everyday items in your home, such as household cleaners and medicines, can present poisoning risks.  That is why it’s important to take steps to prevent poisonings and know what to do if something happens,” says Jeff Lafferty, Environmental Epidemiologist for Public Health Madison and Dane County.
 
Preventing poisoning of children means that you need to keep medicines and toxic products, such cleaning solutions and detergent pods in their original packaging and lock them up, or make sure that children can´t reach them.    When giving medications to a child, be sure to follow label directions carefully and read all warnings.  
 
Get rid of unused, unneeded, or expired prescription drugs and over the counter drugs, vitamins, and supplements.  Keep them from contaminating our environment by not flushing them or putting them in the trash.  You can safely discard these items at MedDrop disposal locations throughout Madison and Dane County.   Click here for location details.
 
If anyone in your house becomes poisoned, call the Poison Center at (800) 222-1222. It is a good idea for parents to add this number to their cell phone contact list.    If the person is unconscious or has trouble breathing, call 911.
 
For more detailed prevention tips
 
For details on poison-proofing your home
 
For a poisoning emergency check list
 

Contacts: 
Category: 
Health & Safety