More than 2 million annual poisonings are reported to the national 61 Poison Control Centers (PCCs). More than 90 percent of poisonings occur in the home. The majority of non-fatal poisonings occur in children younger than six years old. And, poisonings are one of the leading causes of death among adults.
Since March 1961, National Poison Prevention Week has been designated to highlight the dangers of poisons to all citizens. It is always the right time to review the meanings of the words DANGER, WARNING, CAUTION and KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN and teach them to children.
Granite Falls Municipal Hospital and Manor wants to remind you to properly store and use common household items such as insect sprays, cleaners, paints, bleach and medicines. Please review the following guidelines:
Ages 1 to 6 years
Most accidental poisonings happen to this group while shaking, spilling, smelling, tasting, and wiping of hands on skin or clothing. This group has the highest fatality rate because of ingestion and the inability of developing organs to cope with massive toxic exposure.
Ages 5 to 10 years
Most accidental poisonings occur when children try to help clean with household products. These accidental poisonings are not usually reported to poison control centers because exposure is generally not as severe as the first group.
Ages 8 to 18 years
Today, one out of five children try “huffing” or sniffing household products to get high by the time they reach the eighth grade. This group seems to be unaware of the danger of household products.
Misuse is the most common cause of accidental poisoning in this group. Adults usually fail to read instructions carefully and take heed of the warning labels.
Mistaken identity occurs often with the elderly population. They may attempt to read labels without their glasses or in the dark, or reach for a medication that has been moved from its usual place only to pickup something else by mistake. This group is most likely to store products not in original containers because they use smaller quantities and often share products with family and friends.
Remember: a little prevention can go a long way in preventing serious injuries and even death due to poisoning of adults and children.