It's National Poison Prevention Week

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Disclosure: I am an ambassador for KYOTCs. All thoughts and opinions are purely my own. I heard a story being told as I was growing up. It was one that changed with the passing of time. From a potential horrific situation to a cautionary tale once the thread was sufficiently behind us.

It was my own. I have no recollection of this. I must have been 5. We always had parties at the house. Crowds of people would come over. They would eat, drink, dance and commiserate on all the happenings of life. That day, I'm told the last of the guests were leaving and both of my parents went to walk them out of our New York apartment. It took less than a minute. In that time, I managed to get a hold of a glass that had not yet been cleaned up. It was alcohol. And it must've tasted good because I drank what was in the glass.

My parents walked back and a few minutes later noticed me not walking straight. It took a minute. It could've been worse if that guest had left more of her drink behind. Hydration and food worked to get the alcohol out of my system. I don't remember if poison control was called and unfortunately, mom's not around for me to ask.

I always think about this when I've secured items in my home, especially medicines. This is national poison prevention week and we must continue to bring awareness to this issue.

I've always tried to keep a list of dosages and times when the Frog Princess is sick. While I'm the main caregiver, we've had instances when her dad has taken night duty and I'm always concerned about the possibility of us unknowingly doubling up on her meds.

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Approximately 60,000 kids go to the ER every single year due to accidental medicine ingestion and 1 million of the calls made to poison control centers across the U.S. in 2011 were ingestions among kids 5 and under.

It can happen in the blink of an eye and under various circumstances. Whether it's a caregiver giving meds without realizing the other has already provided it or children finding meds (or alcohol or household products) and taking it on their own, this is a problem that we need to address.

Here are some tips to help your kids stay safe.

  • Let kids know what medicine is and that only you (or another caregiver) should give it to them (we've always had a designated medicine dispenser and even then keep a list of when meds are given so that there are no instances of double dosing).
  • Don't tell kids that medicine is candy (even if you are trying to trick them into taking their meds).
  • If you have guests staying over, let them know about medicine safety. I always clear out a shelf in the medicine cabinet where they can store any meds they bring with them.
  • If you're having a party, let your guests know to please dump their drinks and not leave them on a table.
  • Keep the poison control center's information in a visible place (like the fridge). Here it is: www.poisonhelp.hrsa.gov (800) 222-1222.

If you'd like to get more tips on the subject, head on over to UpandAway.org or Know Your OTC's page.

If you're available on Wednesday, March 23rd at 2 p.m. ET, feel free to join the tweetchat as we discuss raising awareness for this week! Follow the hashtag #WellnessWed.

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How do you keep your kids safe from accidental poisonings?