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Seven Tips to Prevent Poisoning

Thursday, October 3, 2013

By: Jane Witman, MD


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Medicine helps our children in amazing ways - but at the same time, can be dangerous for them if not taken properly. Since October is "Talk about Prescriptions Month," I have compiled seven tips to keep your kids safe from poisoning or from taking unnecessary medication.

 

1. All medicine should be kept out of reach.

 

2. Grandparents should be reminded to keep daily pill containers put away when children are present.

 

3. Child proof caps are not foolproof; many very small children have ingested pills because the parents gave them a bottle of Tylenol with a childproof cap to distract them while shopping.

 

4. Left over medicine should be disposed of. U.S. cities have been hosting "National Take Back Days" to give citizens an opportunity to drop off unused medication safely. Learn how to properly dispose of medication here.

 

5. Never put multiple types of pills in one container. This makes identification of possible missing pills very difficult.

 

6. If you need to have controlled substances such as Attention Deficit Disorder medications or pain pills, keep them locked up. Your child may have no interest, but a visiting buddy might.

 

7. Never refer to medicine as a treat or yummy when giving it to a child. Medicine should not be associated as being taken because it tastes good.

 

Remember, if you are concerned your child has ingested something toxic, the Wisconsin Poison Control Center is a good resource. They provide a 24-hour, toll-free poison information line.

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Witman Jane

BayCare Clinic Emergency Physicians' team includes the region's only medical toxicology expert,  Jane Witman, MD. Medical toxicology is a medical sub-specialty focused on the prevention and treatment of injury and illness from accidental or intentional toxic exposure to drugs, chemicals, poisons, and other harmful environmental agents. Dr. Witman is board certified by both the American Board of Emergency Medicine and the American Board of Emergency Medicine - Medical Toxicology. Learn more about Dr. Witman here.

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