Webinar at 6:30 ET Monday will help parents and child advocates keep children from ingesting medicines and poisons

By Jonathan Greene

University of Kentucky

Our homes have more medications than ever, increasing the risk of unintentional, unsupervised ingestions of medicine and other poisons. To help head off such potentially fatal injuries, a Lexington group is presenting an educational webinar for parents and child advocates Monday evening.

The no-cost event is hosted by the Kentucky Safety and Prevention Alignment Network in partnership with Safe Kids Fayette County on Nov. 15 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. ET.

“We want to make sure parents and caregivers are aware of things that they can do in their home to make poisons of all kinds, whether that’s medication, whether that’s cleaning supplies, are actually stored safely in the home,” said registered nurse Sherri Hannan, coordinator of Safe Kids Fayette County. “We have a misconception that we know medicine should be locked away where kids can’t access it, but sometimes, we just think about where kids are today and don’t anticipate where they are tomorrow. They may start to climb, and they may be able to get on that bed and reach a medication that’s on the nightstand. They get access to that and they can’t tell if it’s medicine versus candy.”

Hannan said Lexington doesn’t see large numbers of child poisonings, but with flu and cold season coming, the event is a good time to remind caregivers to be mindful of not leaving their cold medicines out where tiny hands can reach.

“It’s a good time of year to think about those things,” she said. “We also need to know that if we have young people in our households, they can’t tell if a medicine is an antihistamine versus an M&M, so we really need to be careful and think about those things. Sometimes just an easy reminder of something will maybe change a behavior and maybe prompt someone to do better in their home.”

Hannan said the webinar will include advice about medication storage, dosing devices and disposal, and will touch on poisons of all kinds, including liquid laundry-detergent pods, which have caused more poisonings in recent years. Hannan said they are often brightly colored, and the coating can quickly dissolve if a child puts one in their mouth.

“We’re just going to throw in a lot of different things for people to check,” she said. “The laundry room is not a typical room that we think about child-proofing, but if you watch HGTV, a lot of decorating thought is now being placed into that laundry room as a place to showcase–like putting pods in beautiful containers that might make them more accessible. All the work that these companies have done to make those packages child resistant is kind of going out the window.

“We want to make people aware of things that we think would maybe be harmless but that could end up having a bad outcome if a child were to access those poisons.”

The webinar is funded by a mini-grant from Safe Kids Worldwide, so participants will be asked to complete an online survey that Hannan said will take only a few minutes.

Sign up for the webinar at https://uky.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_JpSzx0wETaGiH4XtOvGNdw.

Safe Kids Fayette County is a childhood injury-prevention program led by Kentucky Children’s Hospital. It is part of Safe Kids Worldwide, which has more than 400 coalitions in the United States and is in nearly 50 countries. The Kentucky Safety and Prevention Alignment Network is part of the Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center, a unique partnership between the state Department for Public Health and UK’s College of Public Health.

Previous Article
Next Article