Ahead of the festive season, the good folk at the NSW Poisons Information Centre have launched a clever and compelling campaign aimed at reducing the incidence of child poisoning across the country.
Spot the difference
The centre says that they receive around 30 calls a day (in NSW alone) from parents and carers of children who have accidentally mistaken an adult’s medication for lollies and swallowed them. They’re hoping to alert people to the dangers lurking in handbags, on kitchen counters and in bathrooms across the country.
“We recreated our Gingerbread houses to remind people how easily children can confuse medications with lollies,” a NSW Poisons Information Centre representative posted on the centre’s Facebook page.
“This is especially important at holiday times when people have visitors or are visiting others who may have medications,” they went on to say.
This clever, potentially lifesaving visualisation certainly provides a child’s eye view of something we may be too busy to consider at this frantic time of year.
“One of these Gingerbread houses is decorated entirely with medications and the other with lollies. Can you tell which is which? Could a child tell the difference if a medication was left on the bench?” They posted.
Keeping kids safer
The centre has issued this reminder alongside some advice for reducing the risk of child-poisoning in your home, or when you’re out visiting over the holiday season (and beyond.)
To help minimise the risk of accidental poisonings, they suggest you:
- Keep medications in a locked cupboard up high, child resistant packaging is NOT child proof.
- Avoid leaving medications on the bench or by the bed for easy access.
- Take care with medications in handbags.
- Keep medications in their original packaging.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) concur.
“Each year, 180 000 calls are made to Poisons Information Centres in Australia, with about half of these relating to children,” ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard told The Sydney Morning Herald.
“Poisonings often occur on holidays when families are heading to holiday houses or visiting friends and relatives who may not have young children,” Delia explained.
She seconded the call to be vigilant and check carefully for potential risks.
“Check the house on arrival to ensure medicines and household chemicals cannot fall into little hands.”