Types of Poisonings
Medicines & Household Product Poisoning
Each year close to 40 children die from unintentional exposure to household products and medicines. Among children ages 5 and under, over one-half of poison exposures are by non-pharmaceutical products such as cosmetics, cleaning substances, plants, pesticides, art supplies and alcohol. When medicine is ingested by children ages 4 and under, one-quarter of the medicines belong to someone who does not live in the household. Grandma's purse, which may contain easy-to-open pill boxes, are an easy source for children to obtain medication. And, in an alarming statistic, only one-third of all caregivers are able to measure the correct dosage of prescribed medications administered to a child.
It is estimated that almost one million children between the ages of 1 and 5 have elevated blood lead levels high enough to affect intelligence, growth and development. Children between the ages of 1 and 2 are at the greatest risk from lead poisoning. Ingesting dust from deteriorating lead-based paint is the most common cause of lead poisoning among children. Sadly, children are more likely to suffer elevated blood lead levels if they are low-income, receiving Medicaid, living in large metropolitan area or living in older homes.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning (CO Poisoning)
Each year, approximately 24 children ages 14 or under die from CO, an odorless, colorless, and tasteless gas. In 1999, an estimated 3,400 children were treated in emergency rooms for exposure to CO. The majority of exposures to CO occur during the colder months and the most common cause of CO-related poisoning are unvented supplemental heaters (non-electric space heaters).