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Louisiana Poison Control Director Recommends “Poison-Proofing” Your Home


It’s National Poison Prevention Week, and Louisiana Poison Control Director Mark Ryan says you should poison-proof your home by keeping any hazardous products in a top cabinet that children can’t reach — or use child-proof locks on cabinet doors.

Ryan says he’s seeing an alarming trend lately.  “Where in the past, children got into things like cleaning products, personal care products, now we’re seeing more and more children get into medications,” Ryan says.  “Antidepressants, ADHD medications, sleep medications, things that have the potential to cause much more serious harm.”  And he says kids are still getting “child-proof” caps off of bottles.

One of the biggest problems is things like vitamins, which are in bottles with cartoon characters on them, they’re shaped like kids’ favorite characters or gummy bears, and they taste good.  “And if you give a child access to one of those, we’ve seen them eat 100 multi-vitamins in a matter of 30-45 minutes while they’re watching TV,” Ryan says.

Ryan tells KEEL News that it’s children under age six he sees most often, but it’s the two-to-four age group that keeps his office busiest.  “One good thing about that age group, though, is they have good taste discrimination.  Even little fellas know what tastes good and what tastes bad,” he says.  “So usually what happens is they get a lick amount, a sip amount, a taste amount, usually not a large enough amount to cause any serious harm.”

Another issue altogether is synthetic drugs.  Ryan has been at a conference focused on those.  We’ll have more details on that later coming up later in the week.

Listen to my full interview with Mark Ryan:

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