Alabama Poison Information Center shares medication safety tips for families

WAFF 48's Jasmyn Cornell reporting
Published: Mar. 29, 2022 at 3:33 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WAFF) - Every year, thousands of children are treated in emergency departments after finding and ingesting medicine or after accidentally being given the wrong dose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

On Mar. 18, President Biden designated the third week of March each year as “National Poison Prevention Week” to prevent poisonings and raise awareness of poison control centers and the Poison Help Hotline.

Organizations across the country participated in the week. They are continuing to highlight the dangers of poisoning for people of all ages, especially children, and promote community involvement in poisoning prevention.

According to the Alabama Poison Information Center (APIC), 90% of poisonings happen in the home, and more than 70% of callers get the help they need without having to visit a medical center.

Becky DeVore, a registered nurse educator with APIC, says proper storage is one of the keys to protecting your children. She says, when it comes to medication, there are many ways to keep your kids safe:

  • Do not use kitchen teaspoons or tablespoons to measure liquid medication. Instead, use a syringe from your pharmacist.
  • Keep medicines in their original, child resistant containers. Store medications out of sight and out of reach of children, preferably in a lockbox.
  • If you have guests in your home, make sure they are storing their purses or suitcases where children cannot reach them.
  • Teach your children about medication safety.

“With medications, we recommend that parents do not take their medications in front of children, because children will mimic parent’s actions, and that they do not call medication candy. Of course, children want to get into candy,” said DeVore.

If you have any questions about a possible exposure or an interaction with any kind of poison, you can call the APIC at 1-800-222-1222. This is a nationwide number that will route you to your local center. It is open 24 hours a day.

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