Officials at Loma Linda University Children's Hospital are promoting National Poison Prevention Week.
Unintentional poisoning is the cause of death for approximately 100 children ages 14 and under annually in the U.S., a hospital representative said in an announcement Wednesday.
"Poison control centers in the United States receive 1.2 million calls as a result of accidental poisoning of children ages 5 and under," Briana Pastorino of Loma Linda University Children's Hospital said.
"In California over 90 percent of these exposures occur in the home, mainly in the kitchen, bathroom and bedroom," Pastorino said.
National Poison Prevention Week is March 17 to March 23.
On Monday and Tuesday this week, representatives of a Loma Linda University Children's Hospital program called Safe Kids Inland Empire created a display in the hospital lobby to remind people about keeping kids safe from potential poisons that can be found in the average household, Pastorino said.
"Young children, especially those who can not read yet, can easily mistake the bright purple and red cleaners for their favorite juice or sports drink," Safe Kids coordinator Michelle Parker said.
"Vitamins or various medications can also be mistaken for a piece of candy," Parker said. "It's so important that parents educate themselves so their kids are not exposed to any poisons."
Representatives for Safe Kids California offered poison prevention tips to parents:
- Always store medicines and vitamins up and away in a locked location, and out of sight of children.
- Never give adult medications to children. Children imitate adults, so take medicine out of view of children.
- Never call medication "candy" or tell children it tastes like candy.
Parker advised that if a child may have ingested something potentially hazardous, "don't guess, be sure and contact poison control" at 1-800-222-1222.
If a child is choking, having trouble breathing, or having a seizure, call 911 immediately.
Loma Linda University Children's Hospital is billed as the only dedicated pediatric hospital in San Bernardino, Riverside, Inyo and Mono counties.
Safe Kids Inland Empire is led by Loma Linda University Children's Hospital. The coalition was established in 1991 by the Trauma Department to deal with the epidemic of accidental injury to kids. For more info about Loma Linda Safe Kids Coalition call (909) 558-8118.
For more info about National Poison Prevention Week, visit www.poisonprevention.org.