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Preventing childhood poisoning

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Safe Kids Miami-Dade County

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Unintentional injuries are one of the leading causes of death among children.  Most of these injuries are preventable.  At Miami Children’s Hospital we are committed to keeping children safe. Miami Children’s Hospital is the Proud Lead Organization for the Miami-Dade County SAFE KIDS Coalition.
 
The Miami-Dade County SAFE KIDS Coalition is comprised of public, private and voluntary organizations united and committed to identify and significantly reduce unintentional deaths and injuries to the children of South Florida.  We respond to the needs of our community by providing professional education, practical training programs, and legislative initiatives essential to promote the safety and well being of our children.



PREVENTING CHILDHOOD POISONING
 
Store potentially poisonous household products and medications locked out of childrenís sight and reach.  
  • Read labels to find out what is poisonous. Potential hazards include makeup, medicine, plants, cleaning products, pesticides, art supplies and beer, wine and liquor 
  • Never leave potentially poisonous household products unattended while in use. 
  • Be aware of poisons that may be in your handbag. Store handbags out of the reach of young children. 
  • Never mix cleaning products. 
  • Buy child-resistant packages when available. Keep products in their original packages to avoid confusion.

Keep the toll-free nationwide poison control center number (1-800-222-1222) and local emergency numbers near every telephone. If you suspect poisoning and a child is choking, collapses, canít breathe or is having a seizure, call 911. Otherwise, take the product to the phone and call the poison control hotline. 
  • Follow the operatorís instructions.
  • Don't make the child vomit or give him anything unless directed.
  • Keep activated charcoal on hand to be used only on the advice of a poison control center or a physician. Ipecac syrup should no longer be used as a home treatment strategy.

Be safe when taking or administering medication. 
  • Always read labels, follow directions and give medicines to children based on their weights and ages. Only use the dispensers packaged with childrenís medications.
  • Don't take medicine or vitamins in front of kids, and donít call them "ìcandy."
  • Throw away old medicine by flushing it down a toilet.
  • Tell grandparents and friends about avoiding medication poisoning when your family visits their homes.

Take precautions to avoid other poisons that may be present in the home.
  • Test children for lead exposure, and test homes built before 1978 for lead-based paint. If it is found, cover the lead paint with a sealant or hire a professional abatement company to remove the paint. Frequently wash children’s hands and faces, as well as their toys and pacifiers, to reduce the risk of ingesting lead-contaminated dust.
  • Install CO detectors in every sleeping area and on all levels of your home. Check the batteries every month. If the alarm sounds, leave the home immediately and call for help from a neighborís home or a cell phone outside the home.
  • Ensure that space heaters, furnaces, fireplaces and wood-burning stoves are vented properly and inspected annually.
  • Remove a vehicle from the garage to warm it up, even if the garage door is kept open.

For more information about SAFE KIDS or for additional age specific safety tips, log on to:  http://www.safekids.org  . The Miami Dade County SafeKids Coordinator at Miami Children's Hospital can be reached at 305-663-6800.