CPSC tips for parents during National Poison Prevention Week

Mechele R. Dillard's picture

While child-resistant packaging, critical safety messaging and education efforts have contributed to a significant decline in deaths, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is determined to do more, and is working with other North American agencies (Profeco, Cofepris and Health Canada) during National Poison Prevention Week, March 18-24.

This week marks the 50th anniversary of National Poison Prevention Week, March 18-24. To celebrate, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is teaming up with Mexico’s Consumer Protection Federal Agency (Profeco), the Federal Commission for the Protection Against Sanitary Risks (Cofepris) and Health Canada to offer consumers tips on how to safely choose, use and dispose of potentially poisonous products.

"Fifty years of poison awareness efforts have resulted in thousands of lives saved," said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum in a release. "However, new and reemerging hazards, such as button cell batteries and chemicals that look like everyday drinks, have renewed CPSC's efforts to raise awareness and encourage poison prevention."

CPSC recommends that consumers layer the protection in three key steps:

  1. Keep medicines and household chemicals in their original, child-resistant containers.
  2. Store potentially hazardous substances up and out of a child's sight and reach.
  3. Keep the national Poison Help hotline number, 800-222-1222, handy in case of a poison emergency.

Additional poison prevention steps offered by the CPSC include:

  • When hazardous products are in use, never let young children out of your sight, even if you must take them along when answering the phone or doorbell.
  • Keep items closed and in their original containers.
  • Leave the original labels on all products, and read the labels before using the products.
  • Always leave the light on when giving or taking medicine so that you can see what you are giving or taking. Check the dosage every time.
  • Avoid taking medicine in front of children.
  • Refer to medicine as "medicine," not "candy."
  • Clean out the medicine cabinet periodically and safely dispose of unneeded and outdated medicines.
  • Do not put decorative lamps and candles that contain lamp oil where children can reach them. Lamp oil can be very toxic if ingested by children
  • Do not allow children to play with button cell batteries, and keep button batteries out of your child's reach.
  • If a button cell battery is ingested, immediately seek medical attention. The National Battery Ingestion Hotline is available anytime at (202) 625-3333 (call collect if necessary), or call the Poison Help hotline at (800) 222-1222.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

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