Poison Prevention and Medication Safety

Over 2 million poisoning incidents are reported in the United States each year causing 700,000 hospital or emergency room visits and 35,000 deaths. Children under 6 account for 50% of poison exposures and 92% of poisoning deaths occur in people older than 20. The biggest cause of these poisoning-related emergency calls and deaths are related to ingesting pharmaceutical substances (includes over-the-counter and prescription medications). A little reminder on medication safety may be in order.

Never take other people’s prescription drugs. For your prescription drugs always follow the label’s instructions. When taking an over-the-counter or prescription drug, always know the following.

  • Indications – what it is for
  • Directions – how to take it, including dosage
  • Active and inactive ingredients – what it contains
  • Warning signs – what its unusual effects are
  • Precautions – what activities you should not do while taking it

For children:

  • Keep all medicines locked up and out of reach
  • Only give medicine that is safe based on age and weight
  • Choose containers that are hard to open; replace caps tightly after use
  • Call medicine by its proper name. Never joke that it is candy.

Keep your fork

 

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