Poisoning is a more serious risk than most people realize. Of all the emergency room visits that occur every year, drug-related poisonings are responsible for 700,000 of them. Poisonings are linked to over 35,000 yearly deaths. This makes poisonings the number one cause of injury death. The third week of March (March 17-23) is Poison Prevention Week to increase awareness.
The Risk of Poisoning
Roughly 50 percent of all poisonings happen to children under the age of six. Of all the poisoning deaths every year, 90% of them are adults over the age of 20. Four of the major causes include:
- Household cleaning products
- Prescription medicines (sedatives, antipsychotics, etc.)
5 Poison Prevention Tips
The following are safety measures you should follow in order to reduce the risk of poisoning:
- Discard products safely – When a product is finished or no longer usable, discard it in a sealed, outdoor trash receptacle.
- Keep medications and household products out of reach – Make sure children can’t reach poisonous detergents, chemical products, or medicines. Ensure you store them safely. For example, keep drain cleaners on a top shelf in your garage instead of below the kitchen sink.
- Keep poisonous items isolated – Don’t put poisonous products near your food. They should be stored in different cabinets to avoid accidentally mixing them up.
- Lock cabinets – Prevent children from getting into medicine cabinets and household cleaners by installing safety locks or childproof latches.
- Return products after use – As soon as you take your medication or use a household cleaner, return it to where it’s stored. Don’t leave it out.