It’s National Poison Prevention Week, the American Lung Association in Minnesota and the Minnesota Poison Control System remind us.
The American Lung Association’s news release on the subject notes that poisonings are the second-leading cause of unintentional injury mortality in Minnesota, according to the state’s health department.
The Poison Control System (aka Poison Center), in its news release, notes that 50 percent of poisonings occur in children under 6, and 94 percent of poisonings occur in the home.
A particular concern, according to the American Lung Association, is the vials of liquid used for e-cigarettes. They can contain fatal levels of nicotine for children, who may mistake them for candy or something to eat.
But a greater source of danger is in your medicine cabinet. The Poison Center cites a Safe Kids report that 77 percent of children’s poison-related emergency room visits were related to exposure to medicines belonging to a parent or a grandparent.
The Duluth Health Homes Partnership, which is affiliated with the American Lung Association, is encouraging all of us to create poison-free homes and properly dispose of any household hazardous materials.
It you think a child or loved one may have been poisoned, you should call the national Poison Help number, (800) 222-1222. The Poison Center suggests programming the number into your cell and/or home phones.
Also, free poison prevention packets are available at all three Duluth Public Library locations.
Here’s some additional tips from the Poison Center:
- Keep medicines and household products in their original containers.
- Keep medicines and household products up high and out of sight or locked up. If you have visitors, make sure suitcases and purses are stored out of children’s reach, and remind visitors to take responsibility for their own medications.
- Take the time to read and follow the label before taking or giving medicine.
Contact John Lundy at firstname.lastname@example.org.