Protect your kids from poisonings

Children under 6 account for half of all poison exposures each year


Centers for Disease Control researchers say poisoning is now the leading cause of death from injuries in the United States and children under age 6 account for half of all poisonings each year. So, "National Poison Prevention Week" is designed to remind us about ways to prevent unintentional poisonings.

Dr. Mike Macknin, a pediatrician at Cleveland Clinic Children's, warns parents and caregivers that most poisonings are preventable.

"Lock them up. Put them up high out of the way where they can't see them and keep them in childproof caps," he said.

Researchers with the U.S. Health and Human Services Department say the leading causes of poison exposures among children under age 6 involve cosmetics, household cleaning products and medicines.

Medications and vitamins should always be in a bottle with a childproof cap. They should be put up, away, and out of sight. You should also avoid keeping them "handy" in a purse, unlocked cabinet, or drawer. Keep laundry products and other cleaning items in their original container with their original label intact.

"Sometimes when you're visiting grandma or grandpa, they've got arthritis and they put the easy to open caps on and then they have to be particularly careful to keep those out of the reach of children," explained Macknin.

If your child ingests a medication or toxic substance, Macknin says to call 9-1-1 or Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222.

it's also important other family members follow the same precautions because 20 percent of pediatric poisonings involve a grandparent's medications.