By this time of year, the Easter Bunny already has a map of where he’ll be hiding all the eggs in his basket, but do you have a plan for all the eggs in yours?
Every day, more than 300 children are treated in emergency rooms as a result of unintentional poisoning, two of whom will lose their lives. In 2013, 2.2 million of the 3.1 million calls received by Poison Control Centers are in regards to concerned human exposure to poisons. Just under half of those exposure cases involved children younger than six, many of whom swallowed harmful substances found in any average household across the United States.
Just think, the pain relievers in your medicine cabinet are strangely familiar to the jelly beans they’ll find in their Easter eggs; your aspirin might as well be a breath mint and oil-based cleaners look more like apple juice than a deadly substance.
This Easter, protect your children; keep substances that can be confused with candy, food, toys, or drinks out of their reach—perhaps in the garage or locked away in a cabinet. Vitamins, cleaning products, eye drops, laundry products, nail polish, cosmetics, batteries, bug and weed killers, cigarettes, alcohol, mouthwash, and even plants can all be harmless in the eyes of a child.
Spring is filled with bright, inviting colors, like the eggs they’ll be hunting for in the yard, home, or park. Make an effort to see the world through your child’s eyes and notice that the bright boxes and bottles in your cabinets are the next best hiding place for “treats” that could send them to the emergency room.
As with any season, keep a watchful eye on your child and know the signs of a potentially fatal poisoning, including: sudden vomiting, drowsy behavior, any evidence of a product on the nose,
mouth, or their breath. For any suspicion that your child has swallowed a harmful substance, call 9-1-1 immediately. Educate your children on knowing the signs in their friends and siblings and what they can do in those situations to find help fast.
The Poison Control Center can be reached at 1-800-222-1222, 24/7 . Save the number in your cell phone, keep it handy at home, and you could save a child’s life.
This year, enjoy the blooming flowers, bright colors, and music in the air with a happy and safe Easter.