Every year in Alberta, more than 1600 children under the age of 10, visit emergency departments as a result of accidental poisoning. Most of these events involve the unintended ingestion of medications. Alberta’s Poison and Drug Information Service (PADIS) receives over 13,000 calls per year concerning accidental exposure to poisons by children in this age group. Many, if not most, accidental medication poisonings could be prevented by following a few simple steps to make your home safer for your children and small visitors.
- Always keep prescription and over-the-counter medications locked up tight, out of sight, and in their original containers.
- Be aware that child-resistant caps on medication bottles can make it more difficult for a child to open a bottle but they ARE NOT childproof.
- When taking medications, do it away from children. Children often copy the actions of their parents.
- Guests, family or friends may bring their medications into your home. Always ensure purses, backpacks and coats are in a safe place, out of children’s reach.
- Put the PADIS emergency number in your cellular phones and/or display the number near your land-line telephone.
- If you have a poisoning emergency call PADIS 1-800-332-1414.
March 20 -26, 2016 is National Poison Prevention Week. The Poison and Drug Information Service, the Injury Prevention Centre and provincial partners are focusing their efforts on preventing medication poisoning of young children in Alberta and across the country. For more information or to access resources, visit: www.injurypreventioncentre.ca/programs/poison_prevention