In case of emergency parents can call the Poison Control Center in Jackson at (601) 254-7660. This number is manned 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Collect calls are accepted.
The following are good housekeeping rules to prevent poisonings:
– Keep all chemicals/medicines locked away.
– Store medicines separate from chemicals.
– Store chemicals separate from food.
– Keep products in their original containers.
– Leave original labels on all products.
– Avoid taking medicine in front of children.
– Do not refer to medicine as “candy.”
– Clean out cabinets periodically and safely dispose of unneeded medicines.
By Eileen Bailey
Officer Ugg stuck out his white gloved hand and told children to “Stop. Do not touch” if they see products labeled with a skull and crossbones or his green-faced picture.
Officer Ugg, a.k.a. Kirk Seale with the pharmacy department at North Mississippi Medical Center, and his puppet friends performed two poison prevention shows Thursday before more than 500 preschool children at the Lee County Library.
The poison prevention programs were sponsored by the children’s department at the Lee County Library and the North Mississippi Medical Center’s Pharmacy Department in conjunction with National Poison Prevention Week.
“We want to help increase the public awareness of poison prevention, and we want to help kids know what is good for them,” Seale said.
Held every third week in March, National Poison Prevention Week was established in the early 1960s to provide information to parents and children.
About 75 percent of all accidental poisonings involve children who are 5 years old or younger. In Mississippi, there are about 50 to 60 poisoning cases reported each day to the Poison Control Center in Jackson.
During the 30-minute presentation, Officer Ugg, with help from his puppet friends, manned by Allen Steen, Joni Chandler, Teresa Richardson and Debra McFadden, gave the children examples of what items in the home and outside they should not play with because of possible poisoning dangers.
Holding up a plastic soda bottle filled with a dark liquid, Officer Ugg asked the students if this was something safe to drink. They said “yes.” But when the liquid in the bottle was poured into a cup, the children began to realize there was no soda in the bottle. Some children said liquid was too thick to be soda.
Officer Ugg said he found the plastic bottle filled with a dark liquid in the garage of a friend. “Just because it looks like it’s safe to drink doesn’t mean it is,” he said.
A good rule of thumb, he said, is don’t eat, drink or take any medication unless it is given by parents.
Some children resting on their knees would yell out the response “Stop. Do not touch” when Officer Ugg would show them a product they should not play with.
Elizabeth Taylor, 5, who was with Little Darlin’s Daycare, said she learned not to touch poisons. “I learned don’t touch nothing unless mom or dad tells you,” she said. Taylor said when she goes home this afternoon she plans to tell her parents what she learned.