2012 News Releases

Attorney General Schmidt reminds Kansans to keep dangerous substances away from children

Release Date: Mar 19, 2012

Recognizes National Poison Prevention Week

TOPEKA – (March 19, 2012) – In recognition of National Poison Prevention Week, March 18-24, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt and the Kansas Child Death Review Board remind parents and caregivers of the dangers of poison and the importance of keeping children away from poisonous items.

“Most childhood poisoning accidents are preventable,” Schmidt said. “We can save lives simply by taking a few minutes to be sure dangerous household substances are safely stored out of the reach of children.”

“Children are especially at risk when they are unsupervised,” added Angela Nordhus, executive director of the Child Death Review Board. “Unsecured substances – especially medications – and a lack of supervision is a recipe for a dangerous situation.”

A poison is anything that can cause sickness or death if it gets into or on the body. The most common types of poison include:

  • Solids - Examples include pills, batteries, plants, and berries.
  • Gases - Poisonous gases like carbon monoxide are invisible and are often odorless, unless it contains an additive to make it smell as is the case with propane.
  • Liquids - Liquid poisons can be any color and are creamy, gummy, or watery. Examples include household cleaning products, antifreeze, medicine, gasoline, paint and farm chemicals.
  • Sprays - Spray poisons come from a can or bottle. They can easily get into your eyes, mouth, or lungs. Examples of spray poisons include lawn/garden sprays, household cleaning products, and cosmetic products.

Most poisoning events take place at home. However, incidents have occurred where children visiting grandparents were poisoned after ingesting their grandparent’s medication, which was not properly stored before the visit. Unused medications should be properly disposed to prevent accidental ingestion. Medicines can be dropped off at many law enforcement centers year-round for proper disposal. Additionally, a semi-annual National Drug Take-Back Day is scheduled next month. Unused medications will be accepted on April 28 for disposal at many special drop-off sites throughout the state. For more information, visit www.dea.gov.

The following tips can help prevent poisoning:

  • Provide supervision to children at all times.
  • Do not assume a child cannot open a medicine bottle. Many medications resemble candy and children will mistake them as such. Store all medications in locked cabinets out of the reach of children.
  • Store all household cleaning products and outdoor chemicals, such as lawn/garden sprays, bug sprays, gasoline, etc., in a child-proof cabinet or shed.
  • Do not smoke in the same room with a child.
  • Teach children the importance of not consuming unknown items.

If you discover your child has ingested a harmful product, call the Poison Center at (800) 222-1222 to be connected to a poison control center in your area.

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News releases issued prior to 2011 are available through an archive hosted by the Kansas State Library.