March 22, 2021, Halifax, NS—This year, the IWK Regional Poison Centre and Child Safety Link (CSL) are literally leaving household poison prevention in your hands. The theme of this year’s Poison Prevention Week, It’s in Your Hands, is meant to empower parents and caregivers to take steps towards preventing common household poisonings.
The IWK Regional Poison Centre receives thousands of calls every year about children who have accessed poisons in the home. The year 2020 saw an increased number of calls about ingestions of cannabis edibles, hand sanitizer and cleaning products, and 91% of poison exposures happened in the patient’s own home.
“There are several key things that parents and caregivers can do to help prevent these types of poisonings in the home,” says MaryAnne Carew, RN and Certified Specialist in Poison Information at IWK Regional Poison Centre. “For starters, all cannabis and cleaning products should be locked up and proper teaching of hand sanitizer use in kids is extremely important.”
To highlight the week, CSL is releasing a host of resources on social media including an at-home poison checklist as well as a template to use when creating your household plan. These resources focus on specific products and how to best store them, in the safest way possible.
“There can be significant poison dangers in many areas of the home, and children are good at finding them” says Chantal Walsh, Health Promotion Specialist with CSL. “We want caregivers to know that while serious injuries can and do occur from everyday household products, the power to act on preventing poisonings is within their hands…and that they CAN do it.”
The IWK Regional Poison Centre is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week as a confidential source of information on poisons and poison exposures. The staff at the Poison Centre includes nurses and pharmacists, supported by on-call physicians, who are specialists in poison information, including medication and non-medication related inquiries. The Poison Centre provides service for all ages. In Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, call the IWK Regional Poison Centre at 1-800-565-8161 or (902)470-8161. In New Brunswick, call 911.
Child Safety Link is the children’s injury prevention program of the IWK Health Centre. For the latest information on poisoning prevention and other children’s injury prevention topics, visit www.childsafetylink.ca or follow CSL on Facebook and Twitter at @ChildSafetyLink.
Public Relations Coordinator
Child Safety Link