National Poison Prevention Week

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Story Updated: Mar 20, 2014

Roughly 2.4 million Americans are poisoned every year, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics with more than half under the age of 6.

To tackle the problem, the Academy is now offering up some practical protective tips as part of its National Poison Prevention Week.

On the prevention front, experts say when in doubt lock it up. Safety latches are a critical defense for situations when unsupervised children might come into contact with medicines, cleaning products, or other common, but dangerous, chemical products. Secure safety caps are also key- as is placing harmful items out of reach. On the treatment front, experts stress that time is of the essence when responding to all manner of poisonings related to inhalation, swallowing or eye and skin exposure. 911 is the go-to resource for fast help when a poisoned child falls unconscious, or develops breathing trouble or seizures.

And the Poison Help hotline reachable at 1-800-222-1222 is a good option for when poisoning is strongly suspected as with the ingestion of button-cell batteries despite the absence of immediate symptoms.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with the information you need to protect your health.

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