This is National Poison Prevention Week, and it may come as a surprise that some common everyday products are responsible for many of the calls to the Iowa Statewide Poison Control Center. The education coordinator for the center, Tammy Noble, says over half of the some 40-thousand calls each year involved kids under six. And she says cosmetics and personal care products top the list of things that cause problems for the kids. She says that category includes things like deodorant, shampoo, lotion and toothpaste. The second category is cleaning products, and the third category is medications. Noble says fortunately, most of the cosmetic and personal care products tend not to be “highly toxic”, and she says ingesting a household cleaner can have much more serious results. Noble says it’s a good idea to take some steps to keep kids away from any potential poison. She says you shouldn’t store food products and household cleaners in the same cabinet, and you should always store things in their original container. For example, she says you shouldn’t store gasoline in a pop bottle, or chemical cleaners in bottles that aren’t labeled. She says you should try to keep harmful medicines out of reach or in a locked cabinet. Noble says you should always keep the number for the center accessible so you can call right away. She says it’s easier for them to handle the situation right after it happens instead of waiting for someone to get sick and then trying to fix the problem. Noble says most of the calls don’t result in a visit to the hospital. She says they can five recommendations over the phone of what to look out for or instructions on how to deal with the problem. She says a majority of cases don’t require a physician treatment. The Iowa Statewide Poison Control Center toll-free number is 800-222-1222. You can also find poison prevention packets and information at www.iowapoison.org.
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