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Central Kentucky health officials spread word about dangers of household items and drugs to young children

Even "child-proof" prescription drug containers can be opened by children, according to Sherri Hannan, coordinator for the Safe Kids Fayette County Childhood Injury Prevention Coalition.
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Even "child-proof" prescription drug containers can be opened by children, according to Sherri Hannan, coordinator for the Safe Kids Fayette County Childhood Injury Prevention Coalition.

In 1961, Congress designated the third week of March as National Poison Prevention Week. Area agencies are spreading the word about the danger of household items and drugs, prescription or otherwise, to young children. Sherri Hannan is a nurse at the Kentucky Children’s Hospital and coordinator for the Safe Kids Fayette County Childhood Injury Prevention Coalition. She said a wide variety of products can be deadly for kids.

“A lot of things go under the kitchen sink. Or, you know, the laundry room is a room noun that people decorate and kids go in. So we just want to, as often as we can give reminders about safe storage, up and away out of sight, out of reach, hopefully locked up somewhere.”

A news release from Lexington’s Emergency Management Agency has some eye-opening statistics. Unintentional pediatric poisoning deaths in the U-S rose nearly 40 percent in 2021, with 59 children under the age of 5 dying after taking prescribed or illegal drugs. Hannan said too often, parents store medications where they’re convenient.

“But we also know probably where we shouldn't keep them if we have, you know, young children in the home, you know, the bedside table, the kitchen counter, you know, the bathroom scene, all the places where kids can access with maybe just very little effort.”

Hannan said even so-called child-proof prescription containers can be opened by young children.

National Poison Control Hotline: (800) 222-1222

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: www.cdc.gov/

John McGary is a Lexington native and Navy veteran with three decades of radio, television and newspaper experience.

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