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Unintentional Poisoning Leading Child Injury Cause

Every year, thousands of children are rushed to Florida hospitals due to unintentional poisoning stemming from exposure to or consumption of household chemicals and medicines.

Our Hallandale Beach injury lawyers know that while the number of child poisoning fatalities has been dramatically reduced over the last five decades, there are still far too many.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, which is again promoting National Poison Prevention Week, reported that back in the 1960s, some 400 children died each year from poisoning accidents. Now, we count roughly 40 each year.

One is too many.

Another 90,000 nationwide are rushed to receive emergency care.

Child resistant packaging is one way that the agency has been able to drive down the number of poisonings, particularly on prescription medications and dangerous chemicals like bleach and ammonia.

But new risks appear to be emerging daily.

The CPSC has recently issued warnings about both coin-size batteries and single-load liquid laundry detergent packets.

Button batteries are frequently used in things like remote controls, toys, keyless entry remotes, watches, calculators, flashing shoes and jewelry, digital scales and even musical greeting cards. They’re tiny. They’re shiny. Little hands can easily grab them and pop them in the mouth before parents even realize what’s happened. The devices are not so much a choking hazard as a chemical burn hazard, and it can be fatal if the device isn’t removed within two hours.

In the last several years, there have been 30 deaths and 125 cases of serious burns due to child battery consumption.

The laundry detergent packets, meanwhile, are not only a potential choking hazard, they release highly concentrated, toxic chemicals when in contact with water. Children who have swallowed or come in contact with these packets have suffered loss of consciousness, vomiting, drowsiness, throat swelling, breathing problems and temporary vision loss. Just last year, there were 500 reported incidents of both children and adults who had been injured by these products.

Both of these products are particularly appealing in size, shape and texture to children. While the CPSC is working with manufacturers to potentially change the design and create more appropriate warning labels, it’s incumbent upon parents and caretakers to keep these items safely out of reach of children.

In order to reduce the chances of a child injury, the CPSC recommends the following:
–Household chemicals and medicines should be stored in their original containers, which should be child-resistant;
–Potentially dangerous substances should be stored up high, out of a child’s sight and reach;
–Young children should remain in your sights at all times, particularly when handling potentially dangerous products;
–When administering medicine, keep the light on so you can make sure you are giving the proper dose each time;
–From time-to-time, go through your medicine cabinet and throw away any unnecessary or old medications;
–Don’t take your medicine in front of children, and make sure they know that medicine is “medicine” and not “candy.”

Call Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez — 1-800-561-7777 for a free appointment to discuss your rights.

Additional Resources:
50 Years of Poison Prevention Efforts Result in Lives Saved; Emerging, Toxic Hazards Still Lurk in Many Homes, March 20, 2013, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

More Blog Entries:
Trampolines: More Dangerous than Fun for Kids! Oct. 9, 2012, Hallandale Beach Injury Lawyer Blog

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