Each year, more than 1.2 million children ages 5 and under are unintentionally poisoned. Most accidental poisonings happen to this group while exploring — shaking, spilling, smelling and tasting. Needless to say, this is the group with the highest fatality rate because of ingestion and the inability of newly developing organs to cope with a massive toxic exposure.
Poison Prevention Week is celebrated from March 20-26, 2011, to encourage everyone to take the time to educate themselves about poisons, especially toxic household products. It is also good time to teach young children about the words “danger,” “warning” and “poison” — words that could save their lives.
Remember: what young children see and reach, they put in their mouths. And as their mobility and capabilities increase, they can reach medicines and household products wherever they’re stored.
It’s important to keep the number for the poison control center handy. By calling 1-800-222-1222, you will reach professionals that offer fast and free confidential help in English and Spanish. Most poisonings are resolved over the phone. The number works from anywhere in the United States, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. However, if your child isn’t breathing or has collapsed, call 911 immediately.