While poisoning is the leading cause of injury-related death among adults in the U.S., nearly half of the 2.2 million poisoning cases called into the country’s 56 poison control centers each year involve a child under six years old, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers’ National Poison Data System (NPDS).
To raise awareness about poisonings and offer information on how to prevent them, the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) recognizes this week as National Poison Prevention Week .
“From medication mishaps to poisonous outdoor exposures, poisonings can happen anywhere, at any time, and to anyone,” said Stephen T. Kaminski, chief executive officer and executive director at AAPCC. “During National Poisoning Prevention Week, poison centers want to remind the public that many poisonings are preventable, and expert help is always just a phone call away.”
One substance in particular that’s affected children in recent years is single-load, liquid laundry detergent packets. Classified under household cleaning products, they are the second most dangerous poisonous substance for children. The infographic below lists the other items that put children most at risk of poison exposure.
To keep children safe from potential poisons, Agueda Hernandez, M.D. , medical director of the Baptist Health Medical Group Family Medicine Center at West Kendall Baptist Hospital,  recommends the following:
- Keep household products such as cleaning supplies, personal care products and other chemicals well out of reach.
- Keep medications and supplements in original – and ideally child-proof — containers and out of reach.
- Consider securing cabinets that contain poisonous substances with child-proof restraints.
Infographic by Irina de Souza