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Home News Reminding Parents of the Dangers of Poisoning
David Morgan
575-528-5197 Office
575-649-0754 Mobile

Reminding Parents of the Dangers of Poisoning

March 19, 2014 - Public Relations - Safety

During National Poison Prevention Week, the New Mexico Department of Health wants to remind parents to store non-food products, including medications, out of their children’s reach. The New Mexico Poison and Drug Information Center reports an average of one phone call per hour about a possible poisoning among children under the age of 14, every day of every year. Nationwide, more than 67,000 children were admitted to emergency departments in 2011 because of unsupervised access to medications, according to the National Safe Kids Campaign.

“Almost half of poison exposures for small children are caused by medicine,” said Department of Health Secretary Retta Ward, MPH. “It is natural for children to explore their surroundings, yet they should not have easy access to a purse, medicine or sink cabinet where personal products, medicines, and hazardous chemicals are routinely kept.”

Poison control centers in the United States receive 1.2 million calls per year as a result of accidental poisoning of children ages 5 and under. Nearly 90% of these toxic exposures occur in the home, and 56% involve non-pharmaceutical products such as cosmetics, cleansers, personal care products, plants, pesticides, art supplies, alcohol and toys.

The Department of Health also reminds parents to learn the toll-free number, 1-800-222-1222, for immediate guidance on poisonings from the Poison and Drug Information Center. If a child is choking, having trouble breathing, or experiencing a seizure, call 911 instead.

Here are some additional tips:

  • Store poisonous goods safely.
  • Keep products in their original packages to avoid confusion, and avoid packaging that a child might mistake for candy, such as bright-colored laundry detergent pods.
  • Never leave kids alone with an open container of something you wouldn’t want them to eat or drink. A child can be poisoned in a matter of seconds.
  • Don’t refer to medicine or vitamins as candy and don’t involve children as helpers with your medication.
  • Discuss these precautions with grandparents and caregivers. They may have medications and other products that are accessible to small children.

Media Contact

We would be happy to provide additional information about this press release. Simply contact David Morgan at 575-528-5197 (Office) or 575-649-0754 (Mobile) with your questions.