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11/16/2010 @ 1:48:26 pm by publicservantsrule.com

Poisoning Stats and Tips

Poisoning is a common cause of accidental deaths and is very preventable.  According to the Maryland Poison Center the following are the most common causes of poisoning for 2009, broken down by age group:


   Children under the age of 6:

      1.  Cosmetics and personal care products

      2.  Analgesics (Pain Relievers)

      3.  Household cleaning products

      4.  Foreign Bodies

      5.  Topical Medicines (applied to the skin)

      6.  Antihistamines

      7.  Vitamins

      8.  Antimicrobials

      9.  Plants

    10.  Pesticides


   Children 6 to 19 years old:

      1.  Analgesics (Pain Relievers)

      2.  Sleep medicines and antipsychotic

      3.  (Tie) Antihistamines


      5.  Stimulants and Street Drugs

      6.  Antidepressants

      7.  Cosmetics and personal care products

      8.  Foreign Bodies

      9.  Cough and Cold medicines

    10.  Antimicrobials


   Adults over the age of 20:

      1.  Sleep medicines and antipsychotic

      2.  Analgesics (Pain Relievers)

      3.  Antidepressants

      4.  Alcohol

      5.  Heart medicines

      6.  Anticonvulsants

      7.  Household cleaning products

      8.  Muscle Relaxants

      9.  Antihistamines

    10.  Hormones


Poisonings can more often than not, be prevented.  Always keep medications of all kinds as well as chemicals locked up and out of reach of babies and young children.  Install locks on kitchen and bathroom cabinets to keep children from accessing medications, cleaning products and other chemicals.  Keep all medications, cleaning products and other chemicals in their original clearly labeled bottles and packages.  Many items such as window cleaner, lamp oil and other items can look exactly like fruit juices, soft drinks, sport drinks and other fruit flavored drinks.  Children can easily be confused by the resemblance and accidentally ingest poisons.  Many medications including vitamins and natural/homeopathic remedies can resemble candy and confuse children as well.  They can accidentally ingest medicine and be poisoned.


For preteens through college age adults, parents need to have a frank talk with their children about the dangers of tobacco, alcohol and recreational drugs, legal or illegal.  They should also discuss the trend of huffing, (inhaling household chemicals to get high).  Poisoning deaths and injuries can come from all of the high risk behaviors.  Teach your children not to experiment with any of these things.


For people who have visual impairments, ask for large print medication labels and instruction sheets when receiving prescription drugs.  Keep magnifying glasses in the home to help with reading medication labels.  Many medication errors resulting in accidental poisonings can be caused by people who can not see well enough to read and follow medication labels correctly.  These emergencies can be prevented if the visually impaired can have the proper assistance.


Many adults who have arthritis and other painful conditions often have difficulty opening child proof medication bottles and packages.  If you need medications without child proof packaging for this reason, make sure all medications are locked up and out of reach if you have children who live with you or visit you.

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