Poison and child are not two words that anybody would like to see going together. The very word poison itself is enough to make parents worried.
Considering the fact that majority of child poisoning cases are associated with carelessness, the National Poison Prevention Week (NPPW) is being held to make awareness about the risk of injury or death due to poisoning. The NPPW) is observed between March18 and 24 to educate the public about the safety measures that should be taken to avoid poison.
Established in 1961by the U.S. Congress, the NPPW is one of the permanent and old health and safety campaigns in the U.S.
Poisoning related incidents vary from unintentional child poisonings with household products to prescription medicine abuse.
According to the NPPW, of the 2 million poisoning cases reported each year, more than 90 percent take place at home. The majority of non-fatal accidents happen in children below six years. Poisoning also has been one of the major reasons of death among adults.
Supporting the movement, the Poison Prevention Week Council (PPWC) of federal and private sector partners are circulating themed messages covering the scale of poison-related issues daily and are planning to end the poison week campaign with a public discussion.
The themes for the seven days are:
Sunday: Poisonings Span a Lifetime
Monday: Children Act Fast, So Do Poisons
Tuesday: Poison Centers: Saving Lives 24/7
Wednesday: Take Your Medicines Safely
Thursday: Home, Safe, Home
Friday: Poison Prevention Superhero: Share Your Stories
Saturday: 50 Ways to Prevent Poisonings
Consumers, community activists, victims of poison incidents and poison prevention specialists are invited to share stories, photos of preventive measures and outreach and education efforts Friday, March 23, on the poison prevention Facebook page.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests some important tips to prevent and treat poison.
Store medicine, cleaners, paints/varnishes and pesticides in their original packaging in locked cabinets or containers, out of sight and reach of children.
Install a safety latch - that locks when you close the door - on child-accessible cabinets containing harmful products.
Purchase and keep all medicines in containers with safety caps and keep out of reach of children. Discard unused medication.
Never refer to medicine as candy or another appealing name.
Check the label each time you give a child medicine to ensure proper dosage.
Never place poisonous products in food or drink containers.
Keep coal, wood or kerosene stoves in safe working order.
Maintain working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Secure remote controls, key fobs, greeting cards, and musical children's books. These and other devices may contain small button-cell batteries that can cause injury if ingested.
Swallowed poison - Remove the item from the child, and have the child spit out any remaining substance. Do not make your child vomit. Do not use syrup of ipecac.
Skin poison -- Remove the child's clothes and rinse the skin with lukewarm water for at least 15 minutes.
Eye poison -- Flush the child's eye by holding the eyelid open and pouring a steady stream of room temperature water into the inner corner for 15 minutes.
Poisonous fumes - Take the child outside or into fresh air immediately. If the child has stopped breathing, start cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and do not stop until the child breathes on his or her own, or until someone can take over.
The APP also urges those in need of help to contact the helpline to get immediate assistance.
For emergency cases like the child is unconscious, not breathing, or having convulsions or seizure due to poison contact or ingestion, call 911 or your local emergency number. For mild symptoms call your poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.