Dear Mr. Morton- Last year you wrote a column about “pretty poisons” and how dangerous they were to preschool children. Please update that column. I will tape it to my refrigerator door as a reminder. - L.W.
Dear L.W. - Poison control centers receive over two million calls annually asking for help on how to treat possible poisonings. Fifty-three percent involve children under age 6, many at the toddler stage. Not surprising, 92 percent of all poisonings occur in the home. Unintentional poisonings from medicines and household chemicals kill over 30 children per year and the experts mention three very important steps parents can take:
1. Use child-resistant packaging because it saves lives;
2. keep medicines and household chemicals should be locked up out of reach and out of sight of young children because some children can open child-resistant packaging; and
3. place the poison control center number next to your telephone and call immediately if a poisoning occurs (1-800-222-1222).
Toddlers have an incomplete schema of the world. Ever since they overcame gravity and began to explore the household on foot, they began to get into trouble with "pretty poisons". To show how easily they may be unintentionally poison themselves, here’s some official cases from the Northern Ohio Poison Center: “mistaking a round, green can of Comet bleach for Parmesan cheese, vitamin or prescription drug pills for sweet candy, colorful and sweet-smelling liquid soap or lamp kerosene for pop, ammonia/rubbing alcohol for water, E-Lax Chocolate laxatives for Hershey’s Chocolate bars, colored lamp oil for cranberry juice, mothballs for mini-marshmallows, Pine-Sol for apple juice, windshield washer fluid for Blue Punch/Kool Aid”…the list is endless!
The video below is an excellent broadcast about how manufacturers want their "poisonous" products to look pretty on the store shelf. No more ungly, black skull & crossbones on the label anymore!
The consequences for toddlers ingesting such “pretty poisons” are serious since the poisons have a rapid effect due to the smaller body size and quicker metabolism rate. Perhaps, toddlers shouldn’t be told that medicine is candy or manufacturers shouldn’t make medicines taste so good.
It's amazing, but the top two states for mercury emissions are Texas and Ohio, respectively. Click HERE to read about this neuro-toxin which accounts for thousands of babies being born with neurological and brain disorders.
Robert Morton, M.Ed., Ed.S., has retired from his positions of school psychologist and adjunct professor in the School of Leadership & Policy Studies at BGSU. Questions about family, parenting, personal or educational issues? Contact him at the secure Bpath Mail Form . To visit the national FAMILY JOURNAL column, click HERE