OTTAWA, March 19, 2013 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada, along with the consumer product safety agencies in the United States and Mexico, are reminding parents and caregivers about the dangers of poison during Poison Prevention Week 2013 (March 17-23).
Unintentional poisoning is one of the leading causes of injury among children. Even though these incidents can be prevented, thousands of children in Canada visit emergency rooms after consuming poisonous substances each year.
"Prevention is the key to keeping children safe from poisoning," said the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health. "Most poison injuries occur in and around the home so it is important for parents and caregivers to learn how to properly store and keep dangerous substances out of sight and out of reach of children."
Child-resistant packaging, critical safety messaging and education efforts have contributed to a significant decline in injuries and deaths, however, Canada, the US and Mexico are aiming to further reduce the number of unintentional poisonings. The three countries' federal consumer product safety organizations are working together to raise awareness among consumers, who play a critical role in safely choosing, using, and disposing of potentially dangerous household chemical products.
Parents and caregivers are reminded to:
- Read the label before buying or using a household chemical and follow the instructions each time you use the product.
- Make sure all child-resistant containers are functioning properly.
- Keep chemicals, medications, cleaning supplies and art supplies safely stored in a locked cabinet or box, out of sight and reach of children.
- Keep household chemicals and medicines in their original containers and leave the original labels on the products.
- Make sure children understand the hazard symbols on household chemical products, so they do not unintentionally harm themselves or others.
- If a poisoning is suspected, contact the local Poison Control Centre or 911 immediately.
In addition to a joint awareness campaign with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission and Mexico's Consumer Protection Federal Agency (Profeco), Health Canada is also working to create and distribute resources for ongoing poison prevention education through its Stay Safe Program and Hazardcheck campaign. These initiatives aim to increase awareness of ways to avoid unintentional poisoning and ultimately reduce poison-related injuries in Canada.
For more information on unintentional poisoning and for tips on how to prevent them, please visit the websites for Health Canada, Safe Kids Canada and the Canadian Association of Poison Control Centres.
SOURCE Health Canada