It was reported that in 2017, 52,000 children under the age of six were treated in emergency rooms for medication poisoning. That is quite a scary number. Accidental ingestion of any toxic substance occurs for several reasons. Some of these reasons include packaging that is not childproof, easy access and packaging that looks kid-friendly. Kids who are just plain curious are also a threat to being poisoned.

Nearly 20% of all accidental ingestions in children involve medications taken by grandparents. In some cases, overdoses occur when medications are incorrectly dosed.

While much has changed for the better concerning children and poisoning over the years, thanks to things like childproof caps. parents still play a major role in making sure their children are safe.

More than 90% of all poisonings happen in people’s homes. The majority of these poisonings occur in the bathroom, bedroom or kitchen. So it is important to follow the proper steps to prevent poisonings.

River Valley Pediatrics, your pediatric clinic in New Braunfels, offers these tips to help prevent poisonings.

Put Things Away

Put all cleaners, chemicals and medications away when you are no longer using them. Once you are done with that paint or once you have taken your medication, put it away in a safe place that your children can’t access. And never leave chemicals, cleaners or medications out in the open, even if it is for just a minute or two.

Never Call Medicine Candy

You want your kids to take their medications because you know it is important. But never intrigue your children by calling their medications candy. In doing so, you put them at risk of consuming a dangerous amount.

Properly Dispose of Old Medicines

Any medicines around the household that are expired, unused or unneeded should be disposed of in a proper manner right away.

Mix old medicine with used coffee grounds, cat litter or dirt, then place the mixture in a sealable plastic bag and throw it away. By doing this, you limit the chances that anyone will consume the medicine or take it out of the trash can.

Read The Label

Whatever type of medicine you are giving your children, over-the-counter or prescription, make sure you thoroughly read the label and follow the directions closely. If you aren’t sure about something, even a small detail, call your doctor or pharmacist and ask.

Teach Your Children

It is important that your children know just how dangerous chemicals and medicines can be. Teach them to never touch or consume anything they don’t know about.

Never Downplay the Dangers

It is all too easy to downplay the dangers of some cleaners, medicines and other products. For example, you might not think twice about leaving a bottle of pet shampoo out.

Never underestimate the curious mind of a child. A bottle of pet shampoo might look tasty and smell good, possibly worth a taste.

Check Seals, Then Check Again

Before putting away any medicine, chemicals or cleaners, check to ensure that you have sealed them up properly. It only takes a second to make sure the lid is on tight and secure.

Never Mix Chemicals

Mixing certain chemicals can result in a deadly combination. For example, mixing bleach and ammonia can create a toxic gas.

Keep Products in Their Original Packaging

Do not replace the original containers with other bottles, cups or other household containers. And make sure you don’t put anything other than food in food containers.

Should a poisoning occur, remain calm and call 911 or the emergency poison hotline right away. Have the victim’s age and weight and the container of what was ingested handy.

If you have any questions about poisonings, call River Valley Pediatrics.