MIAMI — Health officials say poisoning is a major cause of injury-related death, the second most common cause in Miami-Dade County, for example, after motorcycle crashes.
The majority of deaths associated with poisoning occur in the adult population, officials say, with more than 90 percent of the poisonings happening at home – mainly in the kitchen, bathroom and bedroom.
The Jackson Health System is emphasizing awareness of the dangers of poisonings and how to prevent them with the following prevention tips to help keep families safe:
• Keep medications in the their original containers, with child-resistant lids firmly in place
• Never call medicine “candy” when talking with children
• Inform your doctor of all medications that you are taking (including over-the-counter and herbal products)
• Never use medication prescribed for someone else, or offer your medication to others
• Seek treatment for substance abuse involving pain-killers or sedative medication
• Safely dispose of medications at a community take-back event, or through your pharmacy
• Install a carbon monoxide detector near bedrooms and garages
• Eliminate old or unneeded chemicals and cleaners from the home
• Use child safety latches on cabinets and drawers in the home.
Poisoning in children is most often caused by a child getting into vitamins or others medications in the home, officials say, followed by household cleaning products or cosmetics.
In adults, poisoning deaths are very commonly the result of medication misuse, particularly involving prescription pain or sedative medicines. More than 90 percent of cases from the general public can be managed without referral to the emergency room.
For poisoning concerns, call the Poison Information Center at 1-800-222-1222.