National Poison Prevention Week encourages everyone to remember available resources

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This week is National Poison Prevention Week, and the Alabama Poison Information Center is doing everything they can to let you know what resources are available to you if you ever need them.

They offer a free 24/7 hotline that you can call to get confidential poison information and treatment recommendations, and now that many of us are at home due to COVID-19, and our regular routines are thrown off, this is a good time to freshen up on what to do if you or someone you love is ever poisoned in the home.

When you call the hotline, a specially trained toxicology expert will be there to assist you - including nurses and pharmacists. You'll be asked to share as much as possible about what caused the poisoning. In 2019, they handled more than 100,000 calls, mostly involving children.

Here's some advice they have for parents:

  • Program the hotline number in your phone - (800) 222-1222
  • Lock up medicines and cleaning products and make sure they are out of reach of children
  • Avoid taking medicine in front of children; they like to copy
  • Call medicine by it's proper name, and never refer to it as 'candy'

Some commonly accessible items that can be dangerous to young children if ingested include:

  • Hand cream and make-up, which can upset your child's stomach or cause diarrhea if swallowed in large amounts
  • Hand sanitizer, which contains alcohol, can intoxicate them if they swallow too much
  • Eye drops, which may cause drowsiness or slow the heart if ingested

So as we have extra time at home with our children, take an extra second to check where those products are in your house, your bag, or your car that could cause harm.

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