50 Years of Preventing Poisoning

(This information for this week’s blog is taken from the CPSC’s web site on poison prevention.  We are thankful for their partnership in injury prevention.)

1962 was the year that “The Beverly Hillbillies” first made it onto our TV screens. The Beatles released their first single. A dozen eggs cost 32 cents. And 400 children died each year from accidental poisoning.

Last  week was Poison Prevention Week’s 50th birthday. Like we often do on birthdays, it’s time to reflect on where we are today.

So — where are we?

In the past 50 years, there has been a 92 percent decline in child poisoning deaths. More than 400 children died each year from poisonings 50 years ago. Today, about 36 children die each year.   Poison control centers report that the most common poisons for children are cosmetics and personal care products, pain medicines and cleaning substances. More than 4 million Americans call a Poison Control Center on the national toll-free hotline (800) 222-1222 each year. And a dozen eggs costs about $2.50.

You might not think the price of eggs is worth celebrating, but the progress made in preventing unintentional poisoning definitely is.

Help us to do even better during the next 50 years. Take a look at these easy steps you can take to prevent unintentional child poisoning. Poison prevention starts with you.


Three Words for Poison Prevention: Click, Up and Away


That’s the sound you often hear when you close the child-resistant cap on a medicine bottle.

Imagine this scenario: It’s the middle of the night and your sick child needs a dose of fever reducing medicine. You’re only half awake and caring for your child. You give your child the medicine and head back to bed.

CLICK. Did you hear it? Sometimes you won’t. But be sure the cap is closed tightly. Even in your most sleep-deprived hours, check the cap.

Most emergency room visits involving 2-year-olds happen after children find and eat or drink medicines when adults aren’t looking, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And each year, the nation’s poison control centers field more than 2 million calls because of unintentional poisonings.

This is why you need to put the bottles UP and AWAY.

Like many parents, you may think child-resistant caps fully prevent children from opening medications. Wrong. Child-resistant caps simply give you more time to prevent children from getting into medicines.

The regulation that covers child-resistant packaging works. Since the Poison Prevention Packaging Act was passed in 1970, there has been a 40% decline in aspirin poisonings alone with the use of child-resistant closures. That’s hundreds of children’s lives that have been saved.

Your vigilance can prevent the poisonings that continue to happen. Click, Up and Away. [Link will go back to the CDC campaign]

Follow these steps to keep children safe around medicine:

Put the medicine up and away. Layers of protection are best. That means put it up in a cabinet or closet out of sight. Locks or child-resistant latches are recommended.

  • Never call medicine “candy.”
  • Ask for and use child-resistant closures on your medicines.
  • Keep medicines in their original containers. Don’t transfer them to bottles, day-minders, cups or non-child-resistant containers.
  • Take your medicines out of sight of young children, because young children tend to imitate adults.

Remember, young children will eat or drink almost anything. Poison prevention starts with you!


For more information on poison prevention or other childhood injury prevention topics, contact Safe Kids Grand Forks at 701-780-1489 or safekids@altru.org.  We also have FREE poison control center stickers and magnets for distribution.  Altru Health system is proud to serve as the lead agency for Safe Kids Grand Forks.

This entry was posted in Parents, Poison, Safety, Supervision, Uncategorized, Unintentional Injury by safekids. Bookmark the permalink.

About safekids

Safe Kids Grand Forks is an injury prevention coalition who has as their mission to prevent unintentional injuries to children under the age of 10. Safe Kids Grand Forks is one of over 600 state and local coalitions affilicated with Safe Kids Worldwide in Washington, D.C. Altru Health System is the lead agency for SKGF and our goal is to collaborate and coordinate activivies of all entities in the community who have childhood injury prevention on their agenda. Together, we are keeping the children of our community and region safe!!