You may not realize how deadly certain everyday items in your household may be if they’re eaten. This is the first day of National Poison Prevention Week and one expert says Iowans need to take a few simple actions to prevent future tragedies. Tammy Noble, a registered nurse and spokeswoman for the Iowa Statewide Poison Control Center, says some suggestions may sound rudimentary, but they’re common-sense life-savers.Keep poisons away from kids, which Noble says may sound silly, but a lot of exposures to poison happen because chemicals are out and available. She says to put cleansers and other chemicals in a -locked- cupboard, not just up high, since kids like to climb. Noble says parents need to educate their kids about the poisons all over their homes — in the kitchen, basement, bathroom, garage and back yard. She says not all poisons smell or taste bad. Readily accessible substances such as rubbing alcohol, mouthwash, iron supplements and children’s vitamins, toilet bowl cleaner, pesticides, antifreeze and windshield washer fluid — all can create frightening poisoning exposures for young children. Noble says even the most specific warning written on a label has no meaning to a young child who cannot read.Don’t rely on child-resistant packaging as she says nothing is child-proof. Last year, the Sioux City-based Iowa Statewide Poison Control Center answered more than 36-thousand calls asking for advice on prescription and over-the-counter medications, household cleaners and chemicals, plants and mushrooms, drug abuse, bites and stings, gases, industrial and farm chemicals, pesticides and food poisoning, among many other things. The toll-free number, staffed round-the-clock, is 800-222-1222. There’s also information at “www.iowapoison.org”.
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