Every year, during poison prevention week, I visit local schools to talk about poison and what kids can do to make their home a safer place. My audience at these schools is a little younger than most of my other presentations (3 to 7 years old).
I use parts of the Generation Rx toolkit as well as resources that are available from our local children’s hospital.
My presentation has a simple message: There are many items around your house that are poison. They can be anywhere in the house; under the sink, in the garage, or in the medicine cabinet.
I start by showing them common household items that are safe but look just like others that are poisons. Some examples are: Ajax and parmesan cheese, apple juice and pine sol. I always ask the kids to repeat two simple phrases when they are not sure what something is:
-Ask a grown up!
Even though it may be too early at this point to talk about all the dangers of misusing prescription drugs, it can be a great foundation for the message that you should never take prescription drugs that are prescribed to someone else. This is an important message because these kids likely see a grownup taking prescription drugs every day and may assume they are safe for them to take too.
I feel like I have a big impact on these kids and plant some early seeds that they may carry on later in life when they have a chance to misuse prescription drugs.
Nick Saltsman, PharmD, is a pharmacist with the Kroger Company in Dublin, Ohio.