Reducing child poisonings

As part of the Victorian Government’s ‘Remove the risk. Put poisons away. Straight away’ campaign, maternal and child health nurses from Greater Shepparton City Council are helping to reduce the number of children being poisoned in the State.

Greater Shepparton’s Manager Family and Children’s Services, Steve Dawkins, said Council is working closely with the Department of Human Services to inform parents about the dangers of child poisonings in the home.

“Even though most parents don’t think it will happen to their children or in their home, according to the latest trend data from the Monash University Accident Research Centre, poisoning is the second highest cause of hospitalisation for children under five years in Victoria,” he said.

The Remove the risk. Put poisons away. Straight away campaign helps inform parents, grandparents and carers of young children about the danger of child poisoning and how to remove the risk.

“Our nurses see new parents regularly to check their child’s health and discuss with them any issues they might be facing,” Steve Dawkins said. “As part of those visits they discuss with parents the importance of making their home safe, including keeping poisons out of reach and out of sight. Medicines, cleaning products, petrol, weed killers, bleaches and eucalyptus oil are the five most dangerous poisons. Simple things like putting those items away in safe locations immediately after using them can save your child from a very nasty, potentially fatal experience.

“It is common to underestimate a child’s ability to find poisonous substances in the home. At least eight children a day receive medical attention in Victoria after swallowing poison. Regular visits for new parents are an important part of ensuring a child’s health and finding out ways to protect them from harm.”

For further information about Remove the risk. Put poisons away. Straight away visit the Better Health Channel website at www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au