Event aims to prevent child poisonings at home
The amount of medications in homes today is more than ever before, increasing the risk of unintentional, unsupervised ingestions of medicine and other poisons. To address these ingestion-related injuries, Safe Kids Fayette County is presenting an educational webinar as a call to action of how all parents and child advocates can reverse the trend of home poisonings to children at greatest risk.
The no-cost event is hosted by the Kentucky Safety and Prevention Alignment Network (KSPAN) in partnership with Safe Kids Fayette County on Monday, Nov. 15, 2021 from 6:30-7:30 p.m.
“We want to make sure parents and caregivers are aware of things that they can do in their home to make poisons of all kinds, whether that’s medication, whether that’s cleaning supplies, are actually stored safely in the home,” said Sherri Hannan, RN, Safe Kids Fayette County Coordinator. “We have a misconception that we know medicine should be locked away where kids can’t access it, but sometimes, we just think about where kids are today and don’t anticipate where they are tomorrow. They may start to climb, and they may be able to get on that bed and reach a medication that’s on the nightstand. They get access to that and they can’t tell if it’s medicine versus candy.”
Hannan said Fayette County doesn’t see large numbers of child poisonings, but with flu and cold season coming, the event is a good time to remind caregivers to be mindful of not leaving their cold medicines out where tiny hands can reach.
“It’s a good time of year to think about those things,” Hannan said. “We also need to know that if we have young people in our households, they can’t tell if a medicine is an antihistamine versus an M&M, so we really need to be careful and think about those things. Sometimes just an easy reminder of something will maybe change a behavior and maybe prompt someone to do better in their home.”
Hannan said the event will go through reminders of medication storage, dosing devices, and even how to dispose of medication and will focus on poisons of all kinds, including liquid laundry detergent pods.
According to Hannan, there was an uptick of poisonings related to the pods in recent years. She said they are often brightly colored and the coating can quickly dissolve if a child puts them in their mouth.
“We’re just going to throw in a lot of different things for people to check,” she said. “The laundry room is not a typical room that we think about childproofing, but if you watch HGTV, a lot of decorating thought is now being placed into that laundry room as a place to showcase–like putting pods in beautiful containers that might make them more accessible. All the work that these companies have done to make those packages child resistant is kind of going out the window.
“We want to make people aware of things that we think would maybe be harmless but that could end up having a bad outcome if a child were to access those poisons.”
As the event is part of a mini-grant from Safe Kids Worldwide, participants will be asked to complete an online survey, according to Hannan, that takes only a few minutes.
To sign up for the online event, visit https://uky.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_JpSzx0wETaGiH4XtOvGNdw.
Safe Kids Fayette County, a childhood injury prevention program led by Kentucky Children’s Hospital, is committed to helping families and communities protect children from preventable injuries. It is part of Safe Kids Worldwide, which has more than 400 coalitions in the United States and is in nearly 50 countries.
KSPAN is an injury community implementation group that is part of the Kentucky Violence and Injury Prevention Program at the Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center (KIPRC).
KSPAN hosts webinars, such as Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) trainings, and other information sessions/trainings as needed. Those interested in partnering with KSPAN can contact Steve Sparrow at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit SafeKentucky.org.
KIPRC is a unique partnership between the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) and the University of Kentucky’s College of Public Health. KIPRC serves both as an academic injury prevention research center and as a bona fide agent of DPH for statewide injury prevention and control.