3-21-13 Poison Center warns of harmful products

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CHARLESTON — Children are fast. Children are curious. Leaving a product available to a child for even a few seconds can be dangerous and result in a poisoning. The best way to avoid these accidental poisonings is to limit the number of potential poisons in your home. If a product is not being used regularly, don’t keep it around “use it or lose it.”

Prescription medications, non‑prescription medications (those purchased “over‑the‑counter”), herbal medications, neutraceuticals and vitamins can all be dangerous if used improperly. They can also be dangerous if a child eats them.

If the medicine has not been used for a while, it is easy to forget that they are even in the house. Medications that are forgotten about are often left unsecured. In addition, a child may be allowed to play in an area that the caregiver forgot contained unused medication.

If the medicine is no longer needed, dispose of it properly. If medicine must be in the home for use, keep a regular inventory of the medications and store them away from children.

Many homes contain closets or cabinets full of household cleaners and products that are rarely if ever used. The more cleaners and products that are in the home, the more likely it is that a child will find a way to get into it.

As with unused medications, it is the unused household items that one often forgets is within a child’s reach or in the area they are playing.

If you don’t use the product, dispose of it or give it to someone who will use it (in its original container of course!). If it isn’t in the home, a child cannot eat it.

Even with every precaution in place, accidents happen. If you believe your child may have gotten into a potential poison, call the West Virginia Poison Center at 1‑800‑222‑1222 to immediately talk to a medical expert in poison information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The Poison Center is free and confidential.

The West Virginia Poison Center provides comprehensive emergency poison information, prevention and educational resources to West Virginians 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. The WVPC is staffed by nurses, pharmacists and physicians with special training in treatment of poisonings.

Located in Charleston, W.Va., the WVPC is a part of the West Virginia University‑Charleston Division. Toll‑free: 1‑800‑222‑1222. Website: www. wvpoisoncenter.org.

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