The Doctors: Kids & Accidental Poisoning
Over 70,000 children visit the emergency room every year because they accidentally overdose or take prescription drugs they find in their home medicine cabinets.
Dr. Jim Sears said a recent study found that this problem is on the rise, with accidental poisonings spiking 22% over seven years. Most of these issues involve other family members’ prescription drugs
The Drs TV: How To Use Poison Control
Dr. Cyrus Rangan of the California Poison Control joined The Doctors by phone to weigh in on this important topic for parents. He and Dr. Travis Stork did a role play scenario about what happens when a parent calls Poison Control.
In an emergency, you can always dial 911 if you’re not sure what to do. You can reach the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222, a free and confidential service available 24 hours, 7 days a week.
The Doctors: Poison Control Role Play
Dr. Travis outlined a scenario in which his fictional two year old son swallowed some pills accidentally. Dr. Cyrus of Poison Control calmly asked questions about the medication the child may have taken, the type of symptoms the child is exhibiting, and what to expect will happen to your child next.
Dr. Cyrus said the Poison Control Center can even connect you to your local 911 operator, since in this scenario, the child could be in danger from taking Diabetes medication.
The Drs TV: Using Poison Control Hotline
Dr. Travis said it’s important to get as much information as possible so you can get the answers you need. Helpful information would include the types of pills that may be involved and a time frame when you think they were ingested. It also wouldn’t hurt to be in the room with the child.
Also, if the kid is breathing and conscious, it’s OK to call Poison Control for guidance. But if they are unconscious or unresponsive, you should call 911 first to ensure that help is on the way.
“The best thing you can do, in the early going, for a poisoning emergency, if the patient is looking well, go ahead and give us a call first at Poison Control and we’ll tell you what to do, Dr. Cyrus said.
The Doctors: Accidental Poisoning Emergency
Another solution for accidental poisoning is to take your child to the emergency room. Depending on the type of medication, doctors will observe and monitor your child in a safe environment, with the resources ready to intervene if there is a negative reaction.
The Drs TV: Keep Medicine From Children
Finally, you can prevent accidental poisonings by keeping pills and medication in places where children can’t have access to it.
Dr. Jim explained some steps you can take to avoid an accidental poisoning at your house. He advised against calling medicine juice or candy, even when your kids need to take it. You don’t want to encourage them to go looking for it as a treat.
The Doctors: Skip the Medicine Cabinet
Did you know it’s actually a bad idea to store your pills in the Medicine Cabinet? “It’s too hot, humid, and easy for the kids to reach,” Dr. Jim said.
Instead, he recommends keeping it in a locked box on a high shelf, out of sight and reach from your kids.
The Drs TV: Don’t Leave Pills Out
Some people might be in the habit of setting their pills out on the table next to their food. That might help you remember to take them, but it also puts them within reach of grabby kids.
The Doctors: Don’t Use a Sandwich Bag
Don’t keep your medicine in a plastic baggie in your purse. That’s where kids search for candy and other goodies, and they may think that pills are a great treasure for their scavenging efforts.
The Drs TV: Medicine Bottles Aren’t Toys
Children should never be allowed to play with old medicine bottles. This teaches kids that medicine is a toy, which is a bad idea.
Plus, it also lets them practice opening childproof caps. And if you need a third reason, I’ve always thought the orange bottles smell weird.
The Doctors: Preventing Poisoning
By following a few simple steps and taking proper precautions, you can avoid a dangerous situation for your family and have one less thing to worry about when it comes to your kids.