The number of children under age 6 treated at U.S. emergency rooms for medicine poisonings has declined in recent years, but there were still nearly 52,000 cases in 2017, a new report says.
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That’s an average of 142 per day or one every 10 minutes, CNN reported.
Between 2010 and 2016, such ER visits fell 32 percent and the number of calls to poison control centers decreased 20 percent, according to the nonprofit group Safe Kids Worldwide.
As part of their report, the authors interviewed 42 parents in Maryland and found that medicine safety was not a top priority when they childproofed their homes, often because they believed they’d stored medicine in safe places such as cabinets or closets, CNN reported.
The authors said parents should add medicine safety to their childproofing task list, keep all medicines and vitamins out of children’s reach and sight, and save poison control numbers on their phones and post them in a visible place at home.
“It’s easy to look at your beautiful, newborn baby and think that he’s not going anywhere anytime soon; believing you still have plenty of time to child-proof your home,” Torine Creppy, president of Safe Kids Worldwide, said in a statement, CNN reported.
“But we’ve learned from our research that parents are all too often surprised by how quickly their babies grow and change. That’s why it’s so important to start life-saving habits, like safe medicine storage, well before your baby is on the move.”
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