How to prevent an accidental poisoning at home

Published: Mar. 20, 2023 at 4:43 PM CDT
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QUINCY (WGEM) - Its time to double check your safety practices at home.

The week of March 19-25 is known as Poison Prevention Week. The Adams County Health Department is working to remind and educate families on poison prevention.

Safe Kids Adams County Coordinator Johanna Voss said kids mimic what they see. If they see adults taking pills, they think they need to take pills too, if they see you cleaning with hazardous products, they think they too need to be involved.

“We need to remember our kids are curious. They are gonna climb, they watch what we do, so if we’re taking a vitamin everyday they might think ‘hey I wanna take what mommy or daddy take everyday,’ then they climb up on the counter and take a vitamin,” Voss said.

Young children often mistake these potentially poisonous items for things familiar to them.

“To kids, medicine looks like candy, window cleaner looks like juice, and so many other things,” Voss said. “Child-resistant packaging doesn’t mean child-proof.”

Voss said another common culprit is one we don’t think of often; battery powered toys. Kids can break into these battery compartments on toys and put these poisonous products in their mouth.

“Kids learn through their senses. Touch, taste, sight, so if they are curious about something like what does this taste like, they are going to put it in their mouth,” Voss said.

A poisoning could result in a call to poison control or even a trip to the ER.

In order to avoid an incident like this, ACHD is advising you lock lower cabinets, keep cleaning supplies and pills out of children’s reach and always keep in mind children are curious.

Voss said for children, out of sight does not always mean out of mind.

“It can be something as simple as a purse or a bag. What’s in the bag or purse? We are in them constantly and with curious kids, if those bags are in reach, they’ll probably go through them,” Voss said. “The door lock or cabinet lock is just extra security because although it may be put up and away from kids access.”

Voss said through a $2,000 grant from Safe Kids Worldwide, they were able to purchase childproof cabinet locks.

These locks will be included in a gift bag of information and other goodies.

In order to receive a gift bag, you need to watch a short prevention focused clip and fill out the quick survey. After completing the survey you can screenshot your results and take them into the Adams County Health Department at 330 Vermont Street, where you will receive your free bag full of information and child proof cabinet locks.

The packets will be free.

Voss suggests putting poison control into your phone so if an incident occurs, you can immediately call rather than search for the number.

The Illinois Poison Center can be reached at 1-800-222-1222.

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