Press Release

American Association of Poison Control Centers Celebrates Baby Safety Month by Raising Awareness on the Importance of Poisoning Prevention in the Home

September 1, 2016 | Download PDF

ALEXANDRIA, VA – During the month of September 2016, the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) will celebrate Baby Safety Month with the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA, http://www.babysafetymonth.org) by promoting household poisoning prevention measures for parents and caregivers.

In an effort to provide knowledge and information to parents and caregivers about keeping children safe, the entire month of September each year is designated as Baby Safety Month and is sponsored by JPMA. “Children act fast, and unfortunately so do poisons,” said Stephen T. Kaminski, JD, AAPCC CEO and Executive Director. “AAPCC is proud to align itself with partners like JPMA and promote national observances to raise public awareness of the importance of safe environments for children, as well as encourage the manufacturing and registration of safe products.”

In 2015, poison control centers managed over one million exposures in children under 6, which represents about 47 percent of the total number of exposures reported to America’s 55 poison control centers in 2015. The top five substance exposures for this age group included: Cosmetics/Personal Care Products (14%), Cleaning Substances (Household; 11%), Analgesics (9%), Foreign Bodies/Toys/Miscellaneous (6%), and Topical Preparations (5%).

“Of the reported exposure cases in kids six and younger, 96 percent took place at a residence,” said Krista Osterthaler, Chair of the National Poisoning Prevention Council and Director of National Outreach at AAPCC. “We keep many products and substances in our homes that make our lives better when used as intended, but can cause great harm when used in ways that are not intended. It only takes seconds for a child to get a hold of something dangerous, which is why it’s vital for parents and caregivers to do everything they can to ensure that their homes are safe, and be prepared in the event of a potential poison emergency.”

During Baby Safety Month, AAPCC encourages parents, grandparents and caregivers to go through their homes room by room, and store anything that may be dangerous to a child up, away, and out of sight, or in child-resistant containers. Additionally, AAPCC recommends the following steps to help ensure a safe, poison-free environment:

1)BE PREPARED FOR AN EMERGENCY. Put the Poison Help number, 1 (800) 222-1222 in your mobile phone and display it in your home and at work in case of emergency, or if you have questions. Calls are free, confidential, and answered by experts, 24/7/365.

2)PRACTICE SAFE STORAGE HABITS. Ideally, the following things should be stored up, away, and out of sight of children, and in their original containers. Alternatively, keep these substances in cabinets secured with child-resistant locks. Keep in mind that there is no such thing as a 100% child-proof lock or container, and there is no substitute for adequate adult supervision:

  • All medications and pharmaceuticals, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and supplements
  • Tobacco and e-cigarette products, especially liquid nicotine
  • Alcohol and beverages that contain alcohol
  • Laundry and cleaning supplies
  • Pesticides and insect repellants
  • Button batteries, such as those found in remote controls and key fobs
  • Any type of oil or lubricant, including fragrance oils, tiki torch oils, engine oil, etc.
  • Personal care products, especially contact lens disinfectants and hand sanitizers
  • Other chemicals

3)READ AND FOLLOW LABELS AND DIRECTIONS. Make a habit of reviewing the label on any potentially hazardous substance or product prior to use, and especially before administering medications. Take care to follow not only usage directions, but the directions provided for safe storage and disposal as well. Call your poison center at 1 (800) 222-1222 if you have any questions about the directions.

4)DETECT INVISIBLE THREATS. Install carbon monoxide detectors in your home.

5)BE AWARE OF OUTDOOR POISONING HAZARDS. Poison hazards are not confined to the indoors. Children can get into dangerous situations with outdoor hazards as well, so be prepared by ensuring you are aware of any potentially toxic plants growing on and around your home’s property, and protect against insect bites and stings. Additionally, never use outdoor-use pesticides indoors. Pesticides meant for outdoor use can be more toxic than those designed for indoor use are. Read and follow all directions on the label, each and every time you use a pesticide or repellent.

For additional home safety tips, prevention ideas and safety gear, visit AAPCC’s In the Home poison prevention page, http://www.aapcc.org/prevention/home/.

For more information on Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association and Baby Safety Month, visit http://www.jpma.org/.

For more information, the media may contact Angela Gonzales, AAPCC Associate Manager, Communications and Outreach, at 703-894-1865 or gonzales@aapcc.org.

AAPCC supports the nation’s 55 poison center members in their efforts to treat and prevent drug, consumer product, animal, environmental and food poisoning. Members staff the Poison Help hotline at 1-800-222-1222 that provides free, confidential, expert medical advice 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year from toxicology specialists, including nurses, pharmacists, physicians and poison information providers. In addition, AAPCC maintains the only poison information and surveillance database in the United States, providing real-time monitoring of unusual poisoning patterns, chemical exposures and other emerging public health hazards. AAPCC partners with federal agencies such as HRSA, CDC, FDA and EPA, as well as private industry. Be prepared for a poisoning emergency and program the Poison Help phone number into your mobile telephone today – 1 (800) 222-1222.

To learn more, visit www.aapcc.org, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter (@AAPCC).

For More Information

  • Edward V. Walrod

    • Associate Manager for Media and Public Relations
    • Email: media at aapcc dot org
    • 703-894-1863

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