Poison Prevention

Last week was Poison Prevention Week, a time when officials remind all of us with little ones around to get anything hazardous out of reach and out of sight of curious little fingers and mouths.

Officials recommend having the number to Poison Control nearby. I recommend you program it in as a contact in your cell phone. When you're in emergency mode, the last thing you need to spend time and precious brain cells wondering, "Where did I put that number?"

I am speaking from a place of experience.

About a year ago, Lauren decided to help herself to the wrong kind of jelly. Not the kind you pair instinctively with peanut butter....she dipped into a canister of petroleum jelly, better known as Vaseline. It was in her room, after all, on one of the shelves of her diaper changing table, and apparently, it looked like something delicious. She didn't eat much, but when the label says "call Poison Control if ingested," this mama calls Poison Control. Fortunately, the professionals calmly told me that Lauren should be just fine. Huge sigh of relief...only to replaced by panic when they asked if they could have my name and phone number. They keep records, apparently, of everyone who calls and the reason for their call. So my name might be on some covert government "bad mommy list," but I digress.

It's important to point out that keeping hazardous items out of sight is almost as important as keeping them out of reach. Just yesterday, Lauren pushed the chair at my desk in the kitchen about 18 inches to the right, so she could climb up and reach into the cabinet where I keep medicine, band-aids, and other odds and ends. It appears "out of reach" wasn't good enough, because it wasn't out of sight for her. She knows that cabinet is off limits to her, and she went for it. Luckily, she didn't even get to open the cabinet before I shut down her little operation.

In all seriousness, unintentional poisoning is one of the leading causes of injury to children. Each year, thousands of children are treated in emergency rooms after consuming poisonous substances. Save your child the risk and save yourself the worry: make sure you do everything you can to keep anything hazardous up and away from your child. If Lauren can find Vaseline appetizing, who knows what other strange things might look like a good idea to sample.

Do you have any cautionary tales to tell or advice to share on this topic? I always love hearing from you!

About the Author...
Heather King
Heather is the anchor and executive producer of WITN News at Sunrise and also reports.

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