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Ever notice that Motrin tablets resemble orange M&Ms?

Or that aspirin is a dead ringer for Certs?

What about the similarity between ExLax and a Hershey Bar?

Well, your kids sure have. So in honor of Halloween, today’s tip is dedicated to ensuring kids are getting tricks and treats rather than picking their poison this weekend.

“It’s no secret that children are bundles of curiosity, anxious to see, touch, smell and taste everything in their path – especially if the object in question resembles candy in any way,” said Anita Benavidez, BS, CPhT, Sanford-Brown College’s Pharmacy Technician Program Chair in Phoenix – a client. “For some of these children, however, this seemingly harmless curiosity can mean grave danger.”

According to the Poison Prevention Council, approximately 30 children die each year from accidental poisonings, and approximately one million frantic adults call Poison Control Centers each year to seek help when children under the age of six have swallowed harmful substances, including household chemicals and medicines, often having mistaken them for candy or new toys.

Children, especially under the age of five, often explore their world with their mouths. That means that anything low enough for a child to reach is likely to end up in their mouths.

“To help keep children safe, parents should store household products, such as window cleaner and furniture polish, out of a child’s reach in the garage,” said Benavidez. “At the very minimum, these items should be stored high in locked cabinets.”

Benavidez also recommends parents making an effort to see the world through their children’s eyes. To young children, bright colored medicine bottles and candy-shaped pills look more like tasty treats than potentially fatal substances.

Additional tips from Sanford-Brown:

  • Use child-resistant packaging, remembering to secure containers after use
  • Keep chemicals and medicines locked up and out of sight
  • Watch young children closely while using cleaners or gardening products
  • Leave original labels on all products
  • Always take or dispense medications in a well-lit area to ensure proper dosage
  • Never refer to medicine as "candy"
  • Post the number for your local poison control center in a highly visible location

Vomiting, sluggish actions or drowsy behavior may also indicate that a child has ingested a harmful substance. Evidence of the product may also be on the child’s nose, mouth or on their breath. If parents believe their child has ingested a hazardous chemical or medication, they should immediately contact their local poison control center.

“You should also educate your children to spot the signs of a potential poisoning in their friends and siblings,” said Benavidez. “And that they should notify a grown-up immediately no matter what.”

For more information, please visit the American Poison Control Center website.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN - be safe and have fun!

Abbie S. Fink
Abbie S. Fink
Vice President/General Manager Abbie has been doing public relations her whole life…from organizing a picket line in 6th grade to organizing client communications today. She’s passionate about a lot of things, you’ll see. Check out Abbie's full bio

1 Comment

  1. Sandra says:

    Great tip. Parents should have their children break the candy in half to check for other objects that shouldn’t be there. Happy Halloween.

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