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Poison prevention services are readily available

Mar. 20, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

West Virginia Poison Center is recognizing Poison Prevention Week with a reminder of the services that the agency provides.

The agency can answer questions about: accidental poisonings of children and adults; drug overdoses; bites and stings; adverse drug reactions, medication errors; exposure to chemicals (home or industrial); poisoning of animals; chronic lead poisoning; plant or mushroom ingestion; and poisonings from drugs of abuse.

The agency also suggests these tips to keep children away from potentially poisonous materials:

MEDICINE: Prescription medications, non-prescription medications (those purchased "over-the-counter"), herbal medications, neutraceuticals, and vitamins can all be dangerous if used improperly. They can also be dangerous if a child eats them. If the medicine has not been used for a while, it is easy to forget that they are even in the house. Medications that are forgotten about are often left unsecured. In addition, a child may be allowed to play in an area that the caregiver forgot contained unused medication.

If the medicine is no longer needed, dispose of it properly. If medicine must be in the home for use, keep a regular inventory of the medications and store them away from children.

HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS: Many homes contain closets or cabinets full of household cleaners and products that are rarely if ever used. The more cleaners and products that are in the home, the more likely it is that a child will find a way to get into it. As with unused medications, it is the unused household items that one often forgets is within a child's reach or in the area they are playing.

If you don't use the product, dispose of it or give it to someone who will use it (in its original container of course!). If it isn't in the home, a child cannot eat it.

The Poison Center is available The WVPC is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling 1-800-222-1222. Calls are answered by health professionals.

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