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Tuesday, March 11, 2014
More than half of the 2 million poison exposures that occur annually involve children under the age of 6. Poisoning exposure in children primarily results from toxic substances stored in and around the home. Summertime brings added risk of exposure to lawn and garden chemicals, pesticides, insect sprays, gasoline, washer fluid, antifreeze, and petroleum products stored in garages and sheds.
Because of their small size, rapid metabolisms, proximity to the ground, tendency toward increased hand-to-mouth activity, and lack of awareness of environmental dangers, children are at increased risk of harmful effects from exposure to pesticides and other harmful substances. Because brain and nervous system development are at critical stages during infancy and childhood, children's exposure to household poisons can have long term, life-altering affects.
How you can help protect children:
What to do if your child is exposed:
Adapted from information prepared by the Rainbow Community Safety & Resource Center, Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital
Sources: American Academy of Pediatrics, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Children's Environmental Health Network
Last Reviewed: Jun 20, 2006
Walter Chwals, MD, FACS, FAAP, FCCM
Formerly, Professor of Pediatrics
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University