Poison more prevalent than realized
Pharmacist offers tips for kids, parents, others
Charity and Nate Wyatt knew who to call when their son Max, then 3, swallowed half a bottle of Tylenol.
“He brought me the bottle and said it tasted good,” Charity said.
She called the Nebraska Regional Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222.A woman on the other end of the line asked Charity how much of the medicine he drank and whether he was lethargic, unresponsive or vomiting.
Although Max seemed fine, the woman instructed the Wyatts to take their son to the hospital emergency room immediately.
There, Charity said they tested his blood and checked other things throughout the afternoon, to insure there was no liver damage, and sent him home.
“He was fine,” she said.
The Wyatts dialed the center another time when Max, at 1 years old, rubbed sunscreen over his face, eyes and up his nose.
They were instructed to wash it off in a bathtub and, if a redness or a rash developed, to get him checked out by a doctor.
Charity and Nate realize the importance of knowing how to dial the poison center as does Niki Salomon, of Gothenburg, who works at Barmore Drug Store in Lexington.
Salomon gives talks to young children about poison prevention, including the youngsters at Joyful Noise, a preschool operated by Charity.
“That age is perfect to target as it empowers them to watch out for younger siblings who might get into something poisonous,” she said.
What is poison?
“Any product that is used in the wrong way, in the wrong amount, or by the wrong person,” Salomon said.
During a recent talk, Salomon showed examples of household products that contain poison such as cleaners, paint, toothpaste (too much fluoride can be harmful to infants) and garden products such as Miracle-Gro.
She noted that, unlike medicine, lawn and garden products are not required to have child-resistant lids.
These products, along with household cleaners and medicine, should also be in a locked cabinet or put somewhere out of reach of children.
She said ipecac syrup, a medicine that causes vomiting, is no longer recommended as a poison remedy.
Parents also need to know that liquid antibiotics lose their potency after the required dosage time and that some medicine, like tetracycline, can undergo a chemical change where it becomes dangerous to take, she said.
Because many medications are moisture sensitive, Salomon said they should be stored away from bathrooms, perhaps in a closet on an upper shelf.
More specialized prescription medicine today means vigilance is important when young ones are in the home, she said.
Salomon said parents and grandparents should make sure children cannot get into insulin stored in the refrigerator.