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Reporting a Medication Error

Poison Prevention Week 2024

Published March 22, 2024

National Poison Prevention Week is March 17-23, 2024. The week highlights the dangers of poisoning and how to prevent them. In recognition of this week, we thought we would share a recent incident that was reported to us.

A mom was tending to her newborn when her toddler walked over and asked for his multivitamin. The mom, who was exhausted from a lack of sleep, was multitasking by making dinner, speaking on the phone, and trying to comfort her newborn. She gave the toddler what she thought was his chewable multivitamin. A few seconds later the toddler said, “That tasted funny. Can I have my regular vitamin now?” The mom realized she had given her toddler one of her own vitamins by mistake. The mom began to panic, wondering if her toddler could get sick from the prenatal vitamin.

Fortunately, a pharmacist had told her to save the number for the Poison Control number (1-800-222-1222) in her phone, so she was able to quickly call them. They told her that based on her toddler’s weight and the amount of iron in her vitamin, one tablet should not be harmful to her toddler. They told her she should store her vitamins separately from her child’s vitamins, and to keep all vitamins and medicines up and out of reach from children.

Every year in the United States, more than one million children under the age of 5 are exposed to poisons. These poisons include medicines and other chemicals used inside and outside the home.

Here’s what you can do: The best way to protect your children from accidental poisoning is to do a walk-through of your home and yard. Be sure to check the bathroom, kitchen, garage, laundry room, nightstand drawers, medication storage areas, pool, and outdoor play areas. Consider the following:

· All medicines, including children’s vitamins, should be treated as a potential poison.

· Read the labels of household products you use. Look for words such as Caution, Warning, Poison, Danger, or Keep Out of Reach of Children.

· Gather all potentially poisonous items and make sure they have child safety caps in place.

· Store all potential poisons on a high shelf or cabinet where children cannot reach them and secure the cabinets with child safety locks.

· See the Poison Control feature, Mark the bottle! for tips on how to make sure you can tell how much liquid medicine your child has taken in the event of a poisoning.

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