MONTEREY CO. (BCN) — National Poison Prevention Week starts Sunday and Monterey County officials are encouraging parents to keep hazardous materials away from children, according to Safe Kids California.
The aim of Safe Kids is to prevent unintentional childhood injuries. Officials with the group suggest parents keep hazardous materials,
including medicine and vitamins, out of a child’s reach and in the original bottle.
Accidental poisoning among children five and under results in 1.2 million calls to poison control centers in the U.S. each year. In California, more than 90 percent of poisonings occur in the home, with most taking place in the kitchen, bathroom and bedroom.
“Based on cases reported to poison control centers, half of all poison-related deaths among children ages five and under involve medicine,” coordinator of Safe Kids California Katie Smith said in a statement. “Children have faster metabolisms than adults and anything they ingest can be absorbed into the bloodstream very quickly.”
More than 50 percent involve non-pharmacy related products such as cosmetics, cleansers, plants, pesticides, toys and alcohol. Art supplies and personal care products can be culprits, too.
Since 1961, Congress has designated this week as National Poison Prevention Week. While child-resistant packaging has saved the lives of hundreds of children, nothing is a substitute for adult supervision and childproofing.