On March 20, 2023, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a press release concerning a new report In 2021, there was a 37 percent surge in unintentional child poisoning fatalities, claiming the lives of 59 children under the age of five after they accessed prescription or illegal drugs. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) urges people to protect their families, particularly the most vulnerable, from poisonings by managing potentially dangerous household items, medications, and drugs.
The 61st National Poison Prevention Week (March 20-24, 2023) commemorates its inception. Since 1972, child poisoning fatalities have decreased by 73 percent due to stringent federal regulations such as the Poison Prevention Packaging Act (PPPA) of 1970 and the Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act of 2015, along with collaboration among the poison prevention community. This community comprises the American Association of Poison Control Centers, standard development organizations, consumer advocates, medical professionals, industry, and government.
According to Alexander Hoehn-Saric, Chair of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, this report highlights the ongoing efforts needed to safeguard children. Mr. Hoehn-Saric then stated that about 80% of poisonings happen at home and parents should make sure button batteries, cleaning supplies, drugs, and laundry packets are stored outside children’s reach or inside locked cabinets.
The CPSC’s latest report emphasizes that African American children experience a higher rate of unintentional pediatric poisoning injuries, at 21.4 percent, compared to their representation in the U.S. population at 15.8 percent. The report also identified blood pressure medications, acetaminophen, antidepressants, laundry packets, and bleach as the top five products associated with unintentional pediatric poisonings.
The CPSC encourages relatives and caregivers to recognize home hazards that could pose a poisoning risk and keep them away from children’s sight and reach.
Safety recommendations for parents and caregivers:
Drugs or Medications
Secure medications in a locked cabinet or box, out of children’s reach. Retain medicines in their original child-proof containers and avoid unsecured containers. Dispose of unfinished or unused medicines properly.
Store laundry packets in their original containers, away from children’s sight and reach. Prevent children from handling laundry detergent packets.
Household Cleaning Supplies
Keep chemicals and cleaning supplies locked up and out of children’s reach. Maintain household chemicals in their original child-resistant containers.
Button Cell or Coin Batteries
Keep items with accessible batteries away from children if the battery compartments lack a screw closure or are damaged. Ensure the toys in your home have secure battery compartments. Do not let children play with or touch button cell or coin batteries. Visit www.cpsc.gov/commissioners to find individual Commissioners’ statements on this or other topics.
If a defective or dangerous product has harmed your child, contact Parker Waichman LLP for a free case review.
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