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Doctors warn of household dangers during National Poison Prevention Week

MGN Online
MGN Online(KALB)
Published: Mar. 22, 2017 at 4:09 PM CDT
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It's National Poison Prevention Week.

Nearly 7,500 people in northeast Wisconsin are among the more than 40,000 people who contact the Wisconsin Poison Center each year.

Experts said while the types of poisons may change, the outcome often doesn't.

While parents frequently keep spray and squirt bottles full of cleaning chemicals locked up like experts say they should, those bottles aren't the most common culprits of poisoning.

With so many medicines and vitamins looking like candy, the Center for Childhood Safety says it's more than just household cleaners parents need to keep out of reach.

"They're making them fun looking and taste good so it gets really confusing for children," said Kimberly Hess, executive director at the Center for Childhood Safety.

"Even something seemingly as simple as vitamins can be toxic," said Dr. Paul Casey, medical director at the Bellin Health Emergency Department.

Dr. Casey said medications are a big culprit for kids who end up in the hospital's emergency department for poisoning.

"Other family members' medications that are left out," Dr. Casey said.

Vitamins and medicines aren't the only products that kids think look good enough to eat.

"The big thing we're seeing right now are these detergent and laundry soap pods. They're colorful, kids think they look like candy," said Dr. Casey.

"We've had siblings give it to their younger siblings thinking, oh it's candy," Hess said.

There are poisons parents may not think of.

For kids in Wisconsin under the age of five, cosmetics and personal care products are the most frequent poison.

"Everything has chemicals, preservatives, and all of that stuff in it and kids are just curious," said Hess.

Hess said it is important not only to keep these products out of reach, but also in their original packaging, which is meant to keep kids out.

Doctors said if you or your child does swallow something that can be poisonous, call the poison center (800-222-1222) first.