Or that 75% of the calls received by poison centers are for children less than five years of age?
Most of these poisonings happen in the home and most happen around
mealtimes. Luckily, most of these accidental poisonings have mild
symptoms without on-going problems. However, there is always a chance
that the poisoning may produce severe injury or even death.
If you are an experienced sitter, then you already know that watching
children and keeping them safe is a tough job! It is important to know
as much as you can about children, then you will know better what to
expect. Young kids explore:
touching, smelling, tasting. Your job is to make sure that the world they
explore is as safe as possible.
Kids act fast and so do poisons: Prevention is our best ally - and
preparation our most effective tool.
Here are some helpful suggestions:
Never leave containers to answer the telephone or the doorbell.
Take the product, or the child, with you or put the product safely away
before responding. Place purses, diaper bags, or shopping bags well out of reach.
Never take medications in front of children.
Children love to
Never tell a child that medicine tastes like candy.
should be taught that medicines are special products, never to be played
with and only to be handled by adults.
Make sure the parents leave you a list of phone numbers:
Physicians, emergency contact numbers
Poison Center, pharmacy, and trusted neighbors or nearby family members.
should also include medications that the child takes regularly, as well
as any allergies, or special medical conditions. Read through the list
Make sure that all the information is current and easy to
read. Make sure you know where your child's parents are going and that
you have their full name and a telephone number handy for easy
House plants: Has the family identified all the house and garden plants and
provided a list of both scientific and common names?
Is a Mr. Yuk
sticker on all plant containers? If not, then encourage them to do so.
Children love to taste and touch plants.
While acting quickly is essential if a
poisoning does occur, it is also important that you remain calm. Remember, most
poisonings do not require a trip to the emergency room. Accidents
happen; that's why the South Texas Poison Center is always open and
ready to take calls, every day, all day!
If a possible poisoning has occurred, contact your South Texas
Poison Center by calling
1-800-222-1222 or 911.
Be ready to provide the following information: age and weight of the child, any allergies or unusual medical
conditions or needs, the product involved, the amount involved, when and how consumed or contacted
(take the container with you to the telephone, and, if advised, to the hospital with the patient), and
any current physical symptoms (how is the baby acting, looking, etc.)