Every 13 seconds, U.S. Poison Centers receives a call about someone being exposed to a poison. In Oregon, over 50% of poison emergencies involve a child less than five years of age. From 2012 – 2014, 13 children ages 10 to 19 died and 433 children ages 0 – 19 were hospitalized.
Children can be poisoned by many products commonly available throughout homes. Safe Kids Oregon encourages everyone to program their cell phone with the number to the Oregon Poison Center – 1-800-222-1222. When there is any concern regarding poisoning, do not hesitate to call. No question is too small!
Top five most common poisoning events for preschool children, under 6:
- cosmetics/personal care products
- household cleaners
- pain relieving medications
- foreign bodies (e.g. disk or hearing aid batteries)
- topical/skin preparations (e.g. diaper rash ointment or gels containing camphor)
Top five most common poisonings for school-age children ages 6 – 19:
- pain relieving medications
- stimulants and street drugs
- cold and cough medications
Environmental poisons from lead and carbon monoxide also pose significant poison risks to all members of the family.
E-Cigarettes and Liquid Nicotine
Electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes, are battery-operated products designed to deliver nicotine, flavor and other chemicals. They turn chemicals, including highly addictive nicotine, into an aerosol that is inhaled by the user.
Poison Centers are reporting a significant increase in the number of exposures to e-cigarette devices and liquid nicotine across the nation. Tonya Drayden, RN, MSN, CSPI at the Oregon Poison Center says, “We are concerned about children’s access to these devices because of the following reasons”.
- The liquid refill for these products may or may not actually contain nicotine
- IF it contains nicotine there may be no labeled concentration or amount per bottle
- The refill bottles and cartridges look like eye-droppers and none have a child safety cap
- A child who gets a single taste of this liquid may consume rapidly absorbable nicotine of 10 to 20 mg or more which could result in a potentially deadly effect
E-cigarettes have posed a significant health hazard, complicated by limited/inaccurate labeling. Click for more information from the Poison Center.
E-Cigarette Poisoning Infographic from the Children’s Safety Network
Laundry Detergent Packets
A Safe Home video
Poison Centers across the nation are concerned about the dangers of using laundry detergent packets near children. Significant numbers of children have experienced excessive vomiting, wheezing, and difficulties breathing have coming in contact with these packets.
For more information on poisonings for all ages, please visit the Oregon Poison Center. For information on the latest alerts from the American Association of Poison Centers, visit http://www.aapcc.org/ and scroll down to Alerts.
Safe Kids Facts, Research, Resources and Tip Sheets
Poison Prevention Facts (pdf)
Carbon Monoxide Alarms – Prohibits transferring of a title to one and two family dwellings or multifamily housing that has a carbon monoxide source unless the dwelling or housing is equipped with a carbon monoxide alarm.