MN Poison Control System and Safe Kids MN Highlight Risks and Tips for Child Safety
In support of National Poison Prevention Week, March 20-26, the Minnesota Poison Control System and Safe Kids Minnesota are reminding parents and caregivers that children are at risk and offer practical suggestions to keep them safe.
“Poisonings can happen anytime, anywhere, and to anyone,” said Kirk Hughes, education director and poison specialist with the system’s Poison Center, “and last year nearly half of the poison exposures recorded in Minnesota were among children under the age of six.”
Despite the relatively high poisoning risk to children, it’s not on the radar for most parents. “Recent research from Safe Kids Worldwide found that only 4% of parents expressed concerns about poisoning, compared to other injury hazards in the home,” said Erin Petersen, coordinator of Safe Kids Minnesota. Safe Kids has also found that parents’ and grandparents’ medications are a key culprit in child poisonings, accounting for 77 percent of children’s poison-related emergency room visits, according to another research report.
To prevent these incidents, the Poison Center and Safe Kids Minnesota offer simple, potentially life-saving tips:
– Program the nationwide Poison Help number (1-800-222-1222) into your cell or home phones.
– Keep medicines and household products in their original containers.
– Keep all medicines and household products up high and out of sight or locked up. If visitors are expected in your home, make sure suitcases and purses are stored out of children’s reach; remind visitors to take responsibility for their own medications.
– Take the time to read and follow the label before taking or giving medicine.
Key Facts About the Minnesota Poison Control System
Anytime, anywhere, anyone can call the Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222.
– Anytime: The Poison Center Emergency Call Center is available 24/7/365. It’s free and confidential.
– Anywhere: In 2015, the Poison Center managed over 47,000 calls statewide from homes, schools, workplaces, and health care facilities statewide.
– Anyone can call for help managing poison emergencies including; parents, caregivers, community members, emergency medical personnel, nurses, and physicians.
– The Poison Center saves lives and money throughout Minnesota. Every dollar spent on Poison Center services saves over $13 in unnecessary medical costs. Ninety-two percent of exposures in the home are safely managed at home with expert consultation.
Visit www.mnpoison.org or www.safekids.org/medicinesafety for more prevention tips, educational resources, and downloadable materials. Follow The Poison Center on Twitter @mnpoisoncenter or on Facebook.
The Minnesota Poison Control System is located at Hennepin County Medical Center. The Poison Center is designated by the Minnesota Department of Health to provide poison information and consultative services to the entire State of Minnesota.
Safe Kids Minnesota works to prevent unintentional childhood injury, the leading cause of death for children and teens. It is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations dedicated to preventing unintentional injury. Safe Kids Minnesota was founded in 1988 and is led by the Minnesota Safety Council. For more information, visit www.safekids.org or www.minnesotasafetycouncil.org/safekids.