Tips offered to parents and caregivers to avoid poisoning of toddlers

Each year, more than 25,000 poisonings are reported to the BC Drug and Poison Information Centre; nearly half involve children.

Poison Prevention Week (March 17 – 23) highlights the problem of childhood poisonings and reminds parents and caregivers to keep poisons out of reach of children.

Each year, more than 25,000 poisonings are reported to the BC Drug and Poison Information Centre (DPIC) and nearly half of these involve children. Toddlers between the ages of one to three years have the highest rate of poisoning.

The most common “poisons” affecting children are cleaning substances, pain and fever medications, vitamins, and plants. The most serious are medications belonging to adults or older children, especially prescription pain killers, sedatives, and medicine for diabetes or heart disease. Once-a-day gradual-release medications can be especially lethal for children.

Children investigate purses or backpacks and may find medicines in zip-lock bags or daily dosette containers. In some cases parents assume that children can’t open “child-proof” caps when, in fact, caps on pill bottles are actually “child-resistant” and children can open them with enough time.

Grandparents need to remember to keep their medications out of sight and out of reach of children and to remove their medications from purses and luggage when they visit a grandchild’s home. Studies have shown that grandparents’ medications are involved in 10-20% of poisonings in young children.

If you think your child has been exposed to a medication or chemical, call DPIC’s Poison Control Centre at 604-682-5050 or 1-800-567-8911. DPIC is a program of the BC Centre for Disease Control. It offers a 24-hour telephone support and advice line staffed by pharmacists and nurses who provide expert treatment advice on chemical or medicine poisonings and overdoses.

Poison awareness and first aid pamphlets are available in Chinese, English, French, Korean, Persian, Punjabi, Spanish, and Vietnamese. Other materials include a “Plant Awareness” pamphlet, posters, and phone stickers and magnets. Materials are free of charge for BC residents and can be obtained from www.dpic.org, by e-mailing info@dpic.ca, or by calling 604-707-2789, extension 3.

Just Posted

Folks look through some of the items for sale during the Voice of Hope giant garage sale at 7350 Barrow Rd. in Chilliwack on Saturday, June 19, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Giant garage sale today in Chilliwack supports Kenyan widows, orphans

Funds go to Chilliwack-based Voice of Hope charity to improve quality of life for impoverished Kenyans

Ben Holwerda of the Chilliwack Spartan Swim Club competes in a swim meet at the Landing Leisure Centre on Feb. 12, 2011. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Chilliwack Landing Leisure Centre to close temporarily for scheduled maintenance

Pools, steam room, and sauna at Landing Leisure Centre closing for maintenance July 19 to Sep. 4

Kalyn Head, seen here on June 4, 2021, will be running 100 kilometres for her “birthday marathon” fundraiser on July 23. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack woman’s 100-km birthday marathon to benefit Special Olympics B.C.

Kalyn Head hopes run raises awareness, advocates for inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities

Volunteers will gather at South Gate Shopping Centre on Fathers Day before fanning out to help clean up downtown Chilliwack. (Facebook photo)
Kindness Chain Chilliwack Association organizes Fathers Day cleanup

Volunteers will spend 90 minutes fanning out to gather trash in downtown Chilliwack

Dancers from the Sts’ailes First Nation perform the eagle dance at a welcome banner dedication ceremony on Thursday, June 10. “Ey Swayel” is a Halq̓eméylem term translated as ‘a good day.’ (Adam Louis/Observer)
VIDEO: ‘A good day’ for Agassiz school as Sts’ailes welcome banner is dedicated

Banner hangs above the school’s entrance, welcoming students, staff and visitors

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Canadians who got AstraZeneca shot can now see ‘Springsteen on Broadway’

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

New research suggests wolves can be steered away from the endangered caribou herds they prey on by making the man-made trails they use to hunt harder to move along. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Culling cutlines, not B.C. wolves, key to preserving caribou herds: researcher

The government has turned to killing hundreds of wolves in an effort to keep caribou around

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger were two of the organizers for the 2014 Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack. Monday, June 21, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 20 to 26

Indigenous Peoples Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Onion Rings Day all coming up this week

Gwen Spencer Hethey with her uncle and mentor Major Frederick Richardson. (Courtesy of Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame)
‘She was a killer’: The B.C. woman who pioneered female sharpshooting

Gwen Spencer Hethey made military men ‘look like turkeys’ says her son

Central Okanagan Grade 12 grads are set to get $500 each after a more than $1 million donation from a Kelowna couple. (File photo)
B.C. couple donating $500 to every Grade 12 student in the Okanagan

Anonymous donors identified as Kelowna entrepreneurs Lance and Tammy Torgerson

Rita Coolidge played the main stage at Vancouver Island Musicfest in 2017. (Black Press file photo)
This year’s Vancouver Island MusicFest to virtually showcase beauty of Comox Valley

Returning July 9 through 11 with more than 25 hours of music performances

British Columbia’s premier says he’s received a second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. (Twitter/John Horgan)
B.C. premier gets 2nd dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

John Horgan shared a photo of himself on social media Friday afternoon holding a completed vaccination card

Most Read