Photo Courtesy of Columbia University
“Parents and caregivers have the power to prevent unintentional poisoning by keeping medicines, drugs and dangerous household items stored out of reach of our youngest New Yorkers” said City Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan.
By Forum Staff
In recognition of March 20-26 as “National Poison Prevention Awareness Week,” the NYC Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) Office of Child Safety and Injury Prevention is urging parents and caregivers to safely store medication, cannabis edibles and other potentially dangerous household items out of children’s reach. In an effort to help prevent unintentional injuries among children, ACS will highlight a medicine safety campaign as part of its commitment to children, youth and families. The campaign will include an animated safety video to help caregivers understand the risks to children and strategies for preventing unintentional consumption of dangerous medication and products.
“Parents and caregivers have the power to prevent unintentional poisoning by keeping medicines, drugs and dangerous household items stored out of reach of our youngest New Yorkers” said City Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan. “If you or someone you know has been potentially exposed and is alert, our NYC Poison Control Center is standing by 24/7 to take your call.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 60,000 children go to the emergency room every year after getting into medicines. Parents should ensure all prescription medications are stored out of sight and out of reach of children, make sure medications have child-proof lids, and educate children about medicines and why a parent, caregiver or a trusted adult must be the one to give it to them. Never tell children medicines tastes like candy or gum to get them to take it. In the event of accidental swallowing, call the NYC Poison Control Center and, in case of emergency, call 911 immediately.
In 2021, ACS created a brand-new office, The Office of Child Safety and Injury Prevention, which supports ongoing work to keep children safe through public awareness campaigns, trainings, and concrete support around injury prevention. This work includes promoting safe storage of prescription medications, potentially dangerous household items and, most recently, accidental ingestion of cannabis edibles, which can look identical to typical desserts, candies and chocolate bars. Parents should know the importance of storing these items “up and away” and out of sight and out of reach of children.
For more information contact the NYC Poison Control Center at 212-POISONS (212-764-7667).