Half of the 2.4 million calls to Poison Control Centers in 2010 involved children ages 5 and under. In fact, 9 out of 10 poisonings occur at home.
If you have questions about potential poisons, medication dosage, or a poison emergency call the North Texas Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 The North Texas Poison Center is open 24/7 and the call is free. Calls are answered by nurses and pharmacists and 80 percent of them are handled at home, without having to go to the Emergency Room. Call 9-1-1 if your child won't wake up, is having trouble breathing or is having seizures.
Create a safe habit and be prepared in case of an emergency, enter 1-800-222-1222 into your cell phone today.
Find local drop boxes where you can properly dispose of your unused or expired medications.
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Poisons effect a wide range of ages and 70% of the poisonings treated at Cook Children's are medication related, while many others are due to common household products.
To a child, the colors and shapes of medicine may look like candy or juice. The wrong medicine or the wrong amounts of medicine can cause severe injury to a child's small body. It is important to store prescription drugs, over-the-counter pain medicine and vitamins up high, in a locked or child-proofed cabinet. Medication safety starts with prevention and includes safe dosing, safe storage and safe disposal.
It is important to dispose of your unused and expired medications because:
The best disposal option is to find a drug take back location which may be found in retail, hospital, pharmacies, and/or law enforcement facilities.
If you do not have a drug take back location near you, check the FDA's flush list. Visit here to check if your medication is on the flush list. Remember, do NOT flush medications not on this list.
If your medication is not on the flush list you can follow these simple steps.
Safe proof your home in advance and avoid potential danger zones. Take a tour of each room, inside and out, and look for the dangers we've outlined below. Consider what a child can see and reach at their height. The little time it takes to do this can help prevent accidental poisonings.
For young children who are not yet reading and like to explore, poisonous products may look like food, drinks, and candy.
Opiate/ Opioids: pain med given by a doctor; some opiates are not legal
Stimulant: a material that speeds up activity between the brain and body; makes a person feel more awake or alert
Sedative: medicine often given for feelings of worry, dread, stress, or panic attacks given by a doctor
Inhalant: chemicals that are breathed in to give the user a fast rush or high; items include glue, hair spray, spray paint
Synthetic Marijuana: human-made chemicals that are sprayed onto dried plant material so they can be smoked in e-cigarettes, pipes, or bongs to get high; misled as a safe, legal substitute to marijuana
THC: part of the hemp plant that causes the feelings of using marijuana; legal in some states for medical or non-medical use
CBD: a part of the hemp plant that cannot get someone “high”; legally sold in some states for medical or non-medical use
Vaping: to breathe in vapor created by electronic cigarettes; vapor contains chemicals for flavoring and nicotine that can be addicting like regular tobacco
E-Cigarette: battery operated electronic cigarette that heats up a special liquid into vapor that can be breathed in; the liquid known as “e-juice” contains nicotine and chemicals for flavoring
Cook Children's Opioid Stewardship Committee led by Dr. Artee Gandhi, strives to reduce the risk of harm from addiction, ingestion, misuse, overdose, and death through best practices and education on the safe and sound practice of pain management. Ultimately, the goal is to build a framework for pain management that fulfills our Promise.
Help us protect kids from accidental poisoning. Please feel free to use our messaging below or create your own. Be sure to use #poisonprevention when you hashtag your post.
To kids, pills may not look harmful because they may be the same color and shape as candy. It is important to store all types of medication locked up and out of a child's reach. Practice safe storage, safe dosing and safe disposal. #poisonprevention
Kids are curious and often learn by putting things in their mouths. Help them learn what is okay to touch and keep medication and cleaning products locked up and out of reach. Practice safe storage, safe dosing and safe disposal. #poisonprevention
It is critical to follow directions when giving medicine to your child. Double dosing is not twice as effective, and may be toxic for a child's body. Practice safe storage, safe dosing and safe disposal. #poisonprevention
Kids are attracted to bright colors. Young children who cannot read may see colorful labels or liquids and think it's juice when really it's a household cleaner. Even simple laundry pods can be dangerous. The pods are soft and colorful but have harmful residue if absorbed in their mouths, noses, or ears. Practice safe storage, safe dosing and safe disposal. #poisonprevention
Little kids are curious and still figuring things. Make sure their curiosity doesn't get the best of them (and you) and remember to put all medications in a locked box in an out-of-reach, safe area. #poisonprevention
Take the time to tour your house and make sure that medications, pill boxes, household cleaners, and even product such as mouthwash and soap are out of reach from your little one's hands. #poisonprevention
Take a tour of your home inside and out and look for easy access to medication, pill boxes, household cleaners, and even products such as mouthwash and soap. The little time it takes to do this can help prevent a lifetime of tragedy as the result of a poisoning accident. #poisonprevention
If you have unused or expired medications in your home, it's important to remove them. However, don't just throw them away or flush them down the sink or toilet. Instead, they need to be properly disposed of at designated drop off locations. #poisonprevention
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