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Three Words for Poison Prevention: Click, Up and Away


That’s the sound you often hear when you close the child-resistant cap on a medicine bottle.

Imagine this scenario: It’s the middle of the night and your sick child needs a dose of fever reducing medicine. You’re only half awake and caring for your child. You give your child the medicine and head back to bed.

CLICK. Did you hear it? Sometimes you won’t. But be sure the cap is closed tightly. Even in your most sleep-deprived hours, check the cap.

Most emergency room visits involving 2-year-olds happen after children find and eat or drink medicines when adults aren’t looking, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And each year, the nation’s poison control centers field more than 2 million calls because of unintentional poisonings.

This is why you need to put the bottles UP and AWAY.

Like many parents, you may think child-resistant caps fully prevent children from opening medications. Wrong. Child-resistant caps simply give you more time to prevent children from getting into medicines.

The regulation that covers child-resistant packaging works. Since the Poison Prevention Packaging Act was passed in 1970, there has been a 40% decline in aspirin poisonings alone with the use of child-resistant closures. That’s hundreds of children’s lives that have been saved.

Your vigilance can prevent the poisonings that continue to happen. Click, Up and Away. [Link will go back to the CDC campaign]

Follow these steps to keep children safe around medicine:

Put the medicine up and away. Layers of protection are best. That means put it up in a cabinet or closet out of sight. Locks or child-resistant latches are recommended.

  • Never call medicine “candy.”
  • Ask for and use child-resistant closures on your medicines.
  • Keep medicines in their original containers. Don’t transfer them to bottles, day-minders, cups or non-child-resistant containers.
  • Take your medicines out of sight of young children, because young children tend to imitate adults.

Remember, young children will eat or drink almost anything. Poison prevention starts with you!

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This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2011/12/three-words-for-poison-prevention-click-up-and-away/

Beware of Those Tiny Batteries

Look at that flashlight lying on the kitchen counter. Or the remote control next to the TV. Or the scale in your bathroom. These and hundreds of other products in homes are powered by coin-sized batteries, called “button batteries.”

As batteries are shrinking and becoming more powerful, the number of battery-related incidents resulting in severe injury and death is increasing. A recent study conducted by Dr. Toby Litovitz of the National Capital Poison Center found that button battery-related incidents have increased sevenfold since 1985.

Incidents often involve children younger than 4 and senior adults. In most cases, children have picked up exposed batteries or gotten the batteries from games, toys, calculators, remote controls and other items left within a child’s reach. Often, parents don’t know that a child swallowed the battery. Or senior adults have swallowed button batteries used in hearing aids after mistaking them for pills.

Occasionally, a swallowed battery will pass through the intestine. Other times, the battery becomes lodged in the throat or intestine. The button battery can cause chemical burns in as little as two hours.

The majority of reported incidents involve 20 mm diameter or larger, 3 volt batteries like this:

More than 60 percent of reported incidents are initially misdiagnosed. Symptoms resemble ailments common in children, such as an upset stomach and fever. In some incidents there were no symptoms.

CPSC recommends the following steps to prevent unintentional battery ingestion:

  • Keep remotes and other electronics out of your child’s reach if the battery compartments do not have a screw to secure them. Tape may be used to help secure the battery compartment.
  • Keep button batteries out of your child’s reach. Discard button batteries carefully.
  • Do not allow children to play with button batteries.
  • Never put button batteries in your mouth for any reason; they are slippery and easily swallowed accidentally.
  • Always check medications before ingesting them. Adults have swallowed batteries mistaken for pills or tablets.
  • Caution hearing aid users to keep hearing aids and batteries out of the reach of children.

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This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2011/03/beware-of-those-tiny-batteries/

Prevent a Poisoning

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Watch this video. Get the tips. Save a life.

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(Watch in Windows Media format.)

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This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2011/03/prevent-a-poisoning/