Unintentional Poisoning is Second Leading Cause of Hospitalizations for Children Under Four
Toothpaste, lotions, nail polish and prescription drugs are the main source of poisoning
ALASKA - The Alaska Poison Center received over 4,000 calls last year related to a poisoning of a child under the age of six.
The State Department of Health said unintentional poisoning is the second leading cause of hospitalizations for Alaskan children age zero to four.
Dr. Michael Levy, an emergency room doctor at Alaska Regional Hospital, said most kids he sees have swallowed something.
“But it can even be exposures on the skin or inhalations,” said Levy.
Toothpaste, lotions, nail polish and prescription drugs are the main source of poisoning.
“We want to be real careful to find out what they've ingested and how much they've ingested,” said Levy.
“With kids that's difficult sometimes, so people bringing in pill containers any type of ingested fragments whatever it might be could be helpful.”
Randi Sweet, Director of Community Action on Health for United Way, said accidents happen when children are left unattended.
“Secure your medications once you give your child their medication. Or if someone in the house is taking medications, make sure they are secure,” said Sweet.
Sweet said as many as 60,000 children across the U.S are hurt each year after swallowing prescription medication.
You can drop off unused prescription medication at the Anchorage Police Department on Elmore Street and at the UAA police department.
If you believe your child has been poisoned call the Alaska Poison Center, 24 hours a day, at 1-800-222-1222.