Safe Kids Kansas

Preventing Accidental Injury.

March 17, 2008

KDHE Office of Communications, 785-296-0461

March 16-22 is National Poison Prevention Week

“Children Act Fast...So Do Poisons!”

Poison control centers in the United States receive 1.3 million calls each year as a result of accidental poisoning of children ages 5 and under. Each year, about 68,000 kids in that age group are treated in emergency rooms for poisoning, and more than 50 die. Nearly 90 percent of these toxic exposures occur in the home. The Kansas Poison Control Center and Safe Kids Kansas are partnering in observance of National Poison Prevention Week, March 16-22, to remind everyone that “Children Act Fast…So Do Poisons.”

The Kansas Poison Control Center in Kansas City received over 22,000 reports of poison exposures in 2007. Of these, 65 percent involved children ages 5 and under. In 2007, the most frequent causes of poisonings reported to the Kansas Poison Control Center in children ages 5 and under were cosmetic/personal care products, household cleaning substances, analgesics, and topical medications.

“It doesn’t take much to make a small child sick ,” said Jan Stegelman, coordinator of Safe Kids Kansas. “Kids have faster metabolisms than adults, and anything they ingest will be absorbed into the bloodstream very quickly.”

Child-resistant packaging is credited with saving hundreds of children’s lives since its introduction in the 1970s, and childhood lead poisoning declined by 80 percent in the 15 years after unleaded gasoline and paint became industry standards. Still, there is no substitute for active supervision and childproofing. “If a product label says ‘keep out of reach of children,’ there’s a reason,” said Stegelman. “Keep it up high and in a locked cabinet.”

Keep the Poison Control Center hotline number beside every phone in your home and program it into your cell phone. Follow the center’s instructions. Do not induce vomiting or give the child any fluid or medication unless directed by the Poison Control Center.

Poison Control Center
National Toll-Free Number – 1-800-222-1222
This number will connect you directly to your local poison control center.

Call 9-1-1, not poison control, if a child is choking , having trouble breathing, or having a seizure. Do not induce vomiting or give the child any fluid or medication unless directed.

Safe Kids Kansas and the Kansas Poison Control Center offer these prevention tips:

For more information, please visit or

Safe Kids Kansas, Inc. is a nonprofit Coalition of 67 statewide organizations and businesses dedicated to preventing accidental injuries to Kansas children ages 0-14. Local coalitions and chapters are located in Allen, Anderson, Atchison, Clay, Coffey, Dickinson, Doniphan, Douglas, Elk, Ellis, Finney, Ford, Franklin, Geary, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Labette, Leavenworth, Marion, Marshall, McPherson, Meade, Mitchell, Montgomery, Osage, Pottawatomie, Republic, Rice, Riley, Saline, Smith, Shawnee, Wabaunsee, Wilson and Woodson Counties, as well as the cities of Chanute, Emporia, Leavenworth, Norton, Pittsburg, the Wichita Area and the Metro Kansas City Area. Safe Kids Kansas a member of Safe Kids Worldwide , a global network of organizations whose mission is to prevent accidental childhood injury. The lead agency for Safe Kids Kansas is the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.