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National Poison Prevention Week March 20-26, 2011 - Wisconsin Pediatricians Provide Guidance for Parents and Caregivers

In recognition of National Poison Prevention Week, the Wisconsin Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics offers guidelines on poison prevention, and what to do should the child in your life become poisoned. Statistics show that children are the most likely to become poisoned, and that poisonous items are most often found in our homes.

Kimberly, WI, March 17, 2011 --( The Wisconsin Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (WIAAP) reminds parents and caregivers that March 20-26, 2011 is National Poison Prevention Week. Of the nearly 2 million poisonings reported to Poison Control Centers each year, over 90% occur in the home, and the majority of non-fatal poisonings occur in children under the age of 6 years old. Cleaning products (29%) and plant poisonings (25%) are the most common sources among children ages 6-19. The National Poison Control Hotline number is 1-800-222-1212.

“The most likely place for children to become poisoned is at home, and over half of poisonings are from substances other than medicines,” said Jeffrey Britton, MD, FAAP, the chapter’s injury, violence and poison prevention chair. The most dangerous poisons in the home are:

· Medicine – even vitamins can be toxic if a child ingests enough
· Cleaning products – especially drain opener, toilet, oven and rust cleaners
· Cosmetics
· Car products – antifreeze and windshield washer solution
· Hydrocarbons – in furniture polish, lighter fluid, lamp oil, kerosene, paint thinner and turpentine
· Pesticides – yard/lawn products and bug spray
· Foliage – wild mushrooms, plants and flowers

A "poison" is defined as anything that makes you sick or hurts you if it is eaten, inhaled or if it touches your body. Poisons come in all forms: solids (pills, berries, batteries), liquids (medicines, antifreeze, cleaners), sprays (furniture polish, bug spray) or even invisible forms (carbon monoxide, lead in household dust). Many of these items are common in homes and also tend to be packaged in bright colors and interesting containers and children can think they are something good to eat, drink or touch.

To keep children safe from poison, Britton advises the following precautions:

· Keep poisonous products out of reach, and return them to their storage place after use
· Store products only in their originally labeled containers and never mix different pills in the same container
· Buy or ask pharmacies for child-resistant packaging
· Don’t tempt your kids by referring to medicine or children’s vitamins as “yummy” tasting or as a reward
· Always supervise, and take children with you if you are interrupted while using a poisonous product
· Identify poisonous plants and flowers and keep kids away from them
· Set the rules for visitors

If parents or caregivers suspect a child may be poisoned, they should:

· Swallowed poisons – Call the Poison Control center at 1.800.222.1222. Do not give the child anything to eat or drink. Do Not make the child vomit or give Ipecac syrup.
· Inhaled poisons – Get the child to fresh air right away, and then call the Poison Center from a safe location.
· Poisons on the skin – Remove contaminated clothing, rinse the child’s skin with water for 10 minutes and then call the Poison Center.
· Poisons in the eye – Flush the child’s eye for 15 minutes with a large cup filled with lukewarm water held 2-4” from the eye. Call the Poison Center.

Comprised of over 900 members and a part of the American Academy of Pediatrics (“AAP”), WIAAP works to assure optimal health and safety for Wisconsin’s children and their families through advocacy and collaboration with child interest groups. WIAAP supports Wisconsin pediatricians, enabling them to continue to be the most effective providers of health care to children. The American Academy of Pediatrics is committed to the attainment of optimal physical, mental and social health and well-being for all infants, children, adolescents and young adults.

Information Sources:
American Association of Poison Control Centers
Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Poison Center
American Academy of Pediatrics –

Expert Contact:
Dr. Jeffrey W. Britton, MD, FAAP
Chair, WIAAP Injury, Violence and Poison Prevention Committee
Tel: 920.457.4461

Contact Information
Wisconsin Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics
Kia LaBracke
563 Carter Court
Kimberly, WI 54136

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