CHARLESTON — Back-to-school season can be hectic while establishing new routines for the entire family. Unfortunately, poisonings are most common when normal routines are interrupted. The West Virginia Poison Center recommends that parents and teachers poison proof their homes and classrooms to help reduce the number of accidental poisonings.
• Keep all medicine in their original containers to avoid confusion and help quickly identify.
• Plan who will be giving medication each day to ensure no one receives a double dose.
• Read the medicine label before giving all medicine to help avoid medication errors.
• Do not leave medication unattended. Only take the medicine out of the bottle when it is being taken. Put the medicine up and away immediately after use.
• Do not call medicine candy as this can unnecessarily attract children.
• Know the school’s medication policy. Never put medicine in backpacks or lunchboxes.
• Teach children that they should never take medicine from friends.
• Teach children the proper use of hand sanitizer.
• Pack lunch in insulated containers. Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold.
• Teach older children to respect the safety rules in chemistry and biology labs.
After School/Extracurricular Activities
• Teach children the danger of drinking energy drinks in excess. Drinking large amounts of caffeine can be dangerous.
• Teach children not to eat plants, berries, or mushrooms while outside.
• Teach children that “safe highs” are not actually safe and that anything that alters the mind is dangerous.
Even if locations are poison-proofed and everyone is careful, poisonings still happen. If you suspect a poisoning has occurred, do not wait for symptoms to appear and do not search the Internet for answers. Save the West Virginia Poison Center, 1-800-222-1222, in your phone and call immediately.
About the West Virginia Poison Center:
The West Virginia Poison Center provides comprehensive emergency poison information, prevention and educational resources to West Virginians 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. The WVPC is staffed by nurses, pharmacists and physicians with special training in treatment of poisonings. Located in Charleston, WV, the WVPC is a part of the West Virginia University-Charleston Division and located next to CAMC Memorial Hospital. Toll-free:1-800-222-1222. Website:www.wvpoisoncenter.org.
Submitted by the West Virginia Poison Center.