Nebraskans urged to poison-proof their homes

Many Nebraskans are launching into spring cleaning projects and one medical expert suggests they also take a few minutes to poison-proof their homes. This is Poison Prevention Week in Nebraska and registered nurse Tammy Noble is spokeswoman for the Poison Control Center.

Noble says the week is an effort to increase the awareness of the dangers of accidental poisoning and to encourage parents to take preventive measures in their homes to protect kids. Some tips include: remove household cleaning products and drain cleaners from under the sink, all medications out of reach and out of sight, child safety latches on all drawers or cabinets containing harmful products or sharp objects.

She says Nebraskans need to know what to do if there is a poison emergency in their home — and have the hotline number handy. “People get into the mentality of ‘it won’t happen to me,’ and then when it does happen, they’re not always sure what to do,” she says. “It’s better to be prepared and take care of the poisons in your home, keep them in locked cupboards and also, having that phone number available.”

Noble says the 24-seven hotline typically gets tens of thousands of calls a year, and most of the calls are about children under age six. She says that’s a high-risk category because most kids in that range can’t read, think everything has to go in their mouths, and that everything looks and tastes good.

The Nebraska Regional Poison Center is staffed round-the-clock at 800-222-1222, or visit the website www.nebraskapoison.com.