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Safe Storage, Safe Dosing, Safe Kids

In honor of Poison Prevention Week, this week Safe Kids Worldwide released a new research report that found while the death rate among children from poisoning has been cut in half since the late 1970s, the percentage of all child poisoning deaths due to medications has nearly doubled, from 36 percent to 64 percent.

According to Safe Kids Worldwide, the report underscores the challenge of medication-related poisoning among children and offers solutions that will reverse the trends.  Safe Kids also proposes specific roles that parents and other caregivers, industry, governments, and the medical community can play in improving medication safety through safe storage and safe dosing.

As a new mom I’ve learned how challenging it can be to figure out the correct dosage – if you can even give your little one medicine.  As I write this my little one is sniffing and coughing – and there isn’t really anything I can do for her!

Here are some tips from Safe Kids and Dayton Children’s to keep little ones safe from medication poisonings:

  • Always put medicines and vitamins away after every use.  Never leave them on the counter between dosings.  Don’t be tempted to “keep them handy” in a purse, backpack, or briefcase, or in an unlocked cabinet or a drawer within a child’s reach.
  • Always read and follow label instructions when giving medicines to children.
  • Only use the dosing device that comes with the medication. Never use a household utensil, such as a teaspoon or tablespoon, to measure medication.
  • Up to 20 percent of pediatric poisonings involve a grandparent’s medication. Make sure that all medications in the child’s environment are stored out of reach and out of sight.
  • Program the nationwide poison control center number (1-800-222-1222) into your phones.

Any other ideas to keep kids safe from poisonings?

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We have created this blog as a way to communicate key childrens' health and safety issues to parents and other child advocates. It is managed by Dayton Children's department of marketing communications. Comments can be sent to rodneyg@childrensdayton.org.

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