* I was compensated by the CHPA's Educational Foundation, KnowYourOTCs, but all opinions are my own.
For years I considered myself to "in the know" when it came to all things medicine related. Because my parents are in the medical field I thought I had a pretty good handle on all the nuances of handling over the counter meds. I never knew how much I didn't know until I had kids of my own and was suddenly hyper aware of all the things that could go wrong.
Kids change everything y'all.
Did you know more than 90% of poisonings occur at home and most are treatable and preventable. Yep - you read that right. More than 90%. That's a LOT y'all. A LOT.
And according to Safekids, half of the 2 million calls to poison control centers in 2011 were for exposures and ingestion's for kids 5 and under. Yikes!
Parents typically like to give their kids the benefit of the doubt and think, "My kid would never put a bottle of XYZ cleaner to their mouth" but don't consider about the drips on the side of the bottles that kids may come into contact with when digging around for items under the sink, especially if bath toys or bubble bath is stored in the vicinity. Those irritants can be especially damaging to delicate skin and are a cause of possible ingestion's.
So how do we combat this? Well for starters keep all OTC medicines and household products (i.e. cleaners, soaps and detergents) out of reach of curious little hands as well as keep them in their original containers. Most of us store our household products under the sinks making them easy for US to access but not considering how interesting they might look to a small child.
Second, be sure to have the number for the Poison Help Line readily available; we used to have a magnet on the fridge that had all this information, for anyone who might be watching the kids and have made sure that when Sweet Pea babysits she's very aware of what her brother is doing at all times. He's a curious fellow and sees no issue with grabbing a vitamin C off the shelf so it gives me pause to have anything else within reach.
Third talk to your kids about what is safe and what isn't and be sure to dispose of all over the counter meds and household items in a safe manner so as to not cause any further harm to anyone handling them after the expiration or a spill.
Most of all, I just encourage parents to be diligent in their quest to keep their kids safe at home and while they're off visiting family and friends. Just because your house may be safe, doesn't necessarily mean everyone else takes the same precautions.
When was the last time you checked to see if your household products were on the up & up?