Welcome to the
South Texas Poison Center

Did you know that every thirty seconds a child in this country is accidentally poisoned?


Or that 75% of the calls received by poison centers are for children less than five years of age?

Most of these poisonings happen in the home and most happen around mealtimes. Luckily, most of these accidental poisonings have mild symptoms without on-going problems. However, there is always a chance that the poisoning may produce severe injury or even death.

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What can you do to prevent accidental poisonings as a sitter?

If you are an experienced sitter, then you already know that watching children and keeping them safe is a tough job! It is important to know as much as you can about children, then you will know better what to expect. Young kids explore: touching, smelling, tasting. Your job is to make sure that the world they explore is as safe as possible.

Kids act fast and so do poisons: Prevention is our best ally - and preparation our most effective tool.

Here are some helpful suggestions:

Photo Never leave containers to answer the telephone or the doorbell. Take the product, or the child, with you or put the product safely away before responding. Place purses, diaper bags, or shopping bags well out of reach.

Never take medications in front of children. Children love to imitate adults.

Never tell a child that medicine tastes like candy. Children should be taught that medicines are special products, never to be played with and only to be handled by adults.

Photo Make sure the parents leave you a list of phone numbers: Physicians, emergency contact numbers Poison Center, pharmacy, and trusted neighbors or nearby family members.

It should also include medications that the child takes regularly, as well as any allergies, or special medical conditions. Read through the list carefully. Make sure that all the information is current and easy to read. Make sure you know where your child's parents are going and that you have their full name and a telephone number handy for easy reference.

House plants: Has the family identified all the house and garden plants and provided a list of both scientific and common names? Is a Mr. Yuk sticker on all plant containers? If not, then encourage them to do so. Children love to taste and touch plants.

Photo While acting quickly is essential if a poisoning does occur, it is also important that you remain calm. Remember, most poisonings do not require a trip to the emergency room. Accidents happen; that's why the South Texas Poison Center is always open and ready to take calls, every day, all day!

If a possible poisoning has occurred, contact your South Texas Poison Center by calling 1-800-222-1222 or 911.

Be ready to provide the following information: age and weight of the child, any allergies or unusual medical conditions or needs, the product involved, the amount involved, when and how consumed or contacted (take the container with you to the telephone, and, if advised, to the hospital with the patient), and any current physical symptoms (how is the baby acting, looking, etc.)

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