Keeping kids safe can take extra effort

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Sometimes the appearance of safety is more dangerous than no safety at all.

One example is car seats — strapping a child into a car seat may meet the letter of the law, but it may not be enough if you’re in a serious accident and the seat is improperly secured.

You can find out by attending Community Hospital’s free car seat check this Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the McCook Fire Station, 505 West C Street.

Car safety seats will be checked out by a certified technician and parents will receive a free kit with information on keeping kids safe.

For faster service, reserve a time by calling (308) 344-8525.

The same false sense of security might result from child-resistant caps on pill bottles and other medications.

Kids learn by mimicking adults, and watching a parent or grandparent take a brightly-colored medication can be attractive to a toddler, who might see a child-resistant cap as more of a puzzle to be solved than a barrier to the “candy” inside.

Accidental medicine poisoning sends a child under age six to an emergency room every nine minutes in the United States, and every 12 days, one of them dies.

The Nebraska Regional Poison Center handles nearly 40,000 calls a year, and more than half of them involve children under age 5.

“Parents often don’t realize how quickly these events can occur,” Morag Mackay, director of research with the group Safe Kids Worldwide, told Mary Kuhlman of Public News Service, Neb.

“And whether the child is at home or maybe visiting grandma and grandpa, you can be supervising your child and you turn around for just a couple of minutes, and when you turn back, the child has access to medicine if it’s not stored safely.”

This week, March 18-24, National Poison Prevention Week, is a good time to take stock of how medications are stored and used in your home.

Safe Kids Worldwide offers some tips:

* Store medicine up and away out of children’s reach and sight every time. Medicine and vitamins should be in a cabinet where children can’t see them, and out of reach, above counter height.

* Remember child-resistant packaging is not childproof; put medicines away immediately after every use, even if another dose is needed in a few hours.

* Remember to keep visitors’ purses, bags and coats out of children’s reach, as they may contain medicine.

* Use safe reminder tools to help you remember when to take and give medicine. Set an alarm on your watch or cell phone, leave a note in plain sight and combine taking daily medicines with a daily task like brushing your teeth.

Save the Poison Help number (800) 222-1222 in your phone and post it in a prominent place in your home.

The Poison Help number connects you with specialists at poison centers who can answer questions about how to give or take medicine and help with poison emergencies.

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