When referring to medication around children, the AAP urges against calling them “candy” or using any other tempting phrase.
In addition to prescription medications, Fesser advises parents to be aware of the potential danger in some multivitamins.
“The chewable vitamins that contain iron can create problems,” he said, noting children often like the taste and “eat more than they should.”
While the vitamins without iron do not pose as serious a risk, Fesser cautioned caregivers to always monitor children whenever medicine is involved.
Other tips offered by the AAP include discarding unused medicine, maintaining smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and preventing access to remotes and other devices containing small cell batteries that can cause injury if swallowed.
Should a child come into contact with a poison, the tip sheet details the course of action a parent or guardian should take.
If the child is unconscious, convulsing, not breathing, or having seizures, a caregiver should immediately call 9-1-1, the academy states, recommending any other cases of suspected poisoning be reported to the poison control center by calling 1 (800) 222-1222.
Beyond the initial call, the AAP notes immediate treatment varies depending on the type of poison and how the child came into contact with it.
For swallowed poisons, parents should remove the foreign object from the child’s mouth and have the child spit out any remnants of the poison. Adolescents should not be forced to vomit and should not ingest syrup of ipecac in response to swallowed poisons.
Skin poisonings require the removal of the child’s clothes and a complete rinse with lukewarm water for at least 15 minutes.
Caregivers dealing with an eye poison should hold the child’s eyelid open and pour a steady stream of room temperature water into the eye’s inner corner for 15 minutes.
Finally, children who have breathed poisonous fumes must be moved outside or into fresh air immediately. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation is required if the child stops breathing and should continue until he or she is breathing again.
However, the basic message is that following simple, common-sense precautions can go a long way toward preventing poisoning incidents involving children.