Common Items Can Be Deadly Poisons

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Knoxville (WVLT) - About 85,000 children are rushed to hospital emergency rooms each year due to unintentional poisonings.

And most of these poisonings are from products commonly found in your home.

Back in the 1960's, the number of deaths each year from unintentional poisoning was 15 times greater than it is today.

And that's the point of this National Poison Prevention Week, to remind you something as harmless as hairspray can be deadly to your child.

Most of us think of our home as a safe haven, but that's where more than 90 percent of poisonings occur.

And most often, they occur with products you would normally think of as safe.

In fact, the most common poison exposures involving children under six involve cosmetics and other personal care products.

A close second, household cleaning substances.

We took a look under the kitchen sink with UT Medical Center Trauma Coordinator Rhonda McAnally. "The can of Raid jumps out at me. It's an insect repellant, very hazardous, can cause breathing difficulties and caustic burns to the mouth if ingested."

In fact, McAnally says, you shouldn't store anything combustible indoors.

But just because a product isn't combustible doesn't mean it's safe to store in a cabinet or drawer.

"All cleaning products are dangerous to children. Not only do they have chemicals that can harm their internal organs, but also externally, they can cause burns to the skin," she says.

Cleaning products should be stored in a place that's too high for children to reach, or in a cabinet, with a lock.

Not as common as poisonings involving cleaning products, but far more dangerous, are pain relievers.

"Always store medicines up high, keep them locked and out of the reach of children. And use child resistant packaging. But remember, it's child resistant, not child proof," says McAnally.

Whether they're prescription or over the counter, never leave pill bottles sitting out on the kitchen counter.

And always call medicine "medicine."

Never call medicine candy in order to get your child to take it.

If you think there's been a poisoning, don't wait to find out what might happen.

Call your Poison Control Center right away. The number is 800-222-1222.

Keep it near every telephone and even store it in your cell phone.

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