Each year over 2 million potential poisonings are reported in the U.S, with over 90% of these occurring in the home and the majority of them being young children.

National Poison Prevention Week is March 21-27 and again this year will aim to highlight the risk of being poisoned by household products and items found in many homes. Starting by Congress in 1961, Poison Prevention Week brings to light the hidden dangers of household cleaning agents, prescription medications, pesticides, and other items can pose serious hazards to the health and well-being of our families and even our pets.

There are several ways to keep your kids safe, and some are actually quite simple. Dr.Hernan Gomez, Associate Professor, Emergency Medicine at Hurley Medical Center, said thinking like a child is a good place to start.

"Get down to a child's level. Crawl around and be award of things that are in reach or on the floor. You may have dropped a pill, or there is something on the floor that they can get into".

Dr. Gomez also noted the similarities between hazardous items and everyday items that may tempt a child. For instance, windshield wiper fluid is a bright blue and looks exactly like a flavored sports drink.

When a poisoning happens, time is of the essence. Seconds could me the difference between life and death. Dr. Gomez suggests calling the Poison Hotline at 1-800-222-1222 immediately. Have in hand the container or name of the item ingested to give as many details to the phone operator. They will advise you to your next move whether it be a home remedy of taking you child to the hospital.

National Poison Prevention Week is a perfect time to reassess your home and do some "Spring Cleaning." Clean out those medicine cabinets and dispose of old and outdated medications. Be sure to check that all superscription have workable child safety caps. Also, be sure to keep all chemicals and household products in their original containers and out of sight of children.

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