March 21, 2017
2 min read

Reducing pediatric poisoning risk during Poison Prevention Week

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Each year, more than 2 million people ingest or come into contact with a poisonous substance, with children aged less than 6 years making up nearly half of these cases, according to recent data from the AAP.

“From medication mishaps to poisonous outdoor exposures, poisonings can happen anywhere, at any time, and to anyone,” Stephen T. Kaminski, JD, CEO and executive director of the American Association of Poison Control Centers, said in a press release. “During National Poisoning Prevention Week, poison centers want to remind the public that while poisoning is the leading cause of injury death in the United States, many poisonings are preventable, and expert help is always just a phone call away.”

This year, Poison Prevention Week spans from March 19-25, 2017, during which the AAP, AAPCC, and other health organizations will be spotlighting the poisoning risk of common household items, including antifreeze, batteries, cleaning products, windshield wiper fluid, furniture polish and liquid nicotine.

In a recent press release, the AAP offered the following recommendations for parents and caregivers to reduce the chances of potential pediatric exposures to poison:

  • Store medicine, cleaning and laundry products (including detergent pods), paints/varnishes and pesticides in their original packaging in locked cabinets or containers, out of sight and reach of children.
  • Invest in safety latches that automatically lock when you close a cabinet door can help keep children away from potentially dangerous products.
  • Purchase and keep all medicines in containers with safety caps and keep out of reach of children; discard unused or expired medication.
  • When administering children’s liquid medication, ensure that you are providing the proper dosage by using the dosing device that accompanies the medicine not a kitchen spoon.

 The AAPCC is available by phone (1-800-222-1222) and online ( if a child is experiencing mild symptoms of poisoning or is asymptomatic. If your child or patient is experiencing convulsions or seizures, has lost consciousness or is not breathing, call 911 or a local emergency number immediately.

To help raise awareness for Poison Prevention Week, Infectious Diseases in Children has complied the latest coverage regarding pediatric poisonings, safe storage and more.

Majority of opioids insecurely stored in households with children

Despite the ongoing “opioid epidemic” in the United States, a recent survey found that opioid pain relievers were stored unsafely in households with children and adolescents. Read More

Young children at greater risk for detergent pod poisonings

More vigilance and caution may be required with laundry detergent pod use, particularly in homes with young children who are at an increased risk for injury from pods. Read More

Exposure to veterinary drugs most common in younger children

Children younger than five years of age appear to be at the greatest risk for exposure to veterinary pharmaceutical products, although most do not result in a serious medical issue. Read More

Legalization of recreational marijuana yields increase in unintentional exposure to children

Researchers from the University of Colorado observed an association between the increase in unintentional pediatric exposures to marijuana and the legalization of recreational use in Colorado. Read More

Many parents ignorant of e-cigarette poisoning risks to children

While e-cigarette use was found in 12.3% of households, often alongside regular cigarettes, many parents who used e-cigarettes were unaware of the potential health risks for children, such as nicotine poisoning. Read More