Stay informed to stay safe

March 18-24 is National Poison Prevention Week. That’s why we’re sharing important information about the dangers of poisoning and how to prevent it. Please pass it on to your employees, friends, and family.

Poisoning—it’s more common than you might expect

When you think of the emergency room, you probably think of sprained ankles, broken bones or even more serious trauma like a heart attack or stroke. What you probably don’t think of are poisonings, one of the most common conditions treated at medical facilities around the nation.

In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that poisonings and toxic ingestion account for over 1 million visits to the ER every year. A study done by the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) concluded that 2.2 million calls went in to the poison control hotline in 2016 alone.

The AAPCC also showed that the majority of poisoning incidents involved children under 6 and took place in the home.

So, poisoning is clearly an important topic to deal with, and these stats show that people need to be more educated about the dangers of unintentional poisoning.

Common household items which can be poisonous

According to the AAPCC, most poisonings happen in the kitchen, bathroom and bedroom. Targeting these areas to identify common household items which could be poisonous if ingested is the first step toward poison-proofing your home.

Pay close attention to the following items, which can be life-threatening if ingested:

  • Medicine in non-recommended dosages
  • Vitamin supplements in non-recommended dosages, including iron pills
  • Button batteries
  • Drain cleaners and toilet-bowl cleaners
  • Other cleaning products
  • Nail glue remover
  • Laundry products

How to keep you and your family protected

Follow these tips to help ensure potentially dangerous substances don’t fall into curious hands:

  • Make sure all medicines, cleaners, laundry products and chemicals are stored in their original containers and properly labeled. Storing these items in plastic food containers, for example, increases the likelihood that a child will mistake them for food.
  • Keep medicines secured in a locked medicine cabinet, and all cleaners and laundry products locked and stored in a high spot where kids can’t reach.
  • Some art supplies contain dangerous chemicals—make sure to not eat or drink when using these supplies, and clean up thoroughly afterward.
  • Keep cosmetics out of a child’s reach.

Even if you follow these precautions, accidents may still occur. In the event of a poisoning call the toll-free Poison Help line at 1 (800) 222-1222. This will connect you to the local Poison Control Center.

More information

No one likes a trip to the ER or the unexpected out-of-pocket costs that come with it, but accidents can happen. If you or your employees find yourselves in one of these scary situations, a supplemental accident only policy may be able to help cushion the financial blow when receiving emergency treatment.