About 1.2 million children younger than 5 are poisoned every year by common household products. To help protect children, Safe Kids East Central and the MCG Children's Medical Center recommend the following tips for parents and caregivers:
1. When not in use, keep all poisons high up in a locked cabinet. Child-resistant packaging is great, but it's not infallible. Lock poisons away, but continue to also actively supervise your children. Remember when you were a child and climbed chairs or used keys to "explore"?
2. Stay alert while using cleaning products or other potentially harmful substances. Never leave children alone, even for a few seconds, with an open container of something you wouldn't want them to ingest.
3. Know what to do. Make sure you and your baby sitters know the poison control hotline number, (800) 222-1222, in addition to the number for your local ambulance service, if it is not 911. If you suspect poisoning, call poison control immediately; do not induce vomiting or give the child any fluid or medication unless directed. Call 911, not poison control, if a child is choking, having trouble breathing or having a seizure.
4. Test your home for lead and carbon monoxide. Both lead and carbon monoxide can make children seriously ill.
5. Don't refer to medicine or vitamins as candy. Even multivitamins can poison a small child who swallows too many. Remember to discuss these precautions with grandparents or other relatives who might have medications in their homes and help them ensure their homes are safe. When these relatives and friends visit your home, remember to appropriately stow away their purses or baggage if they hold medications.
6. Learn CPR. It takes only three hours to complete this class. You can learn effective interventions to help save a child.
Source: Rene Hopkins, coordinator of Safe Kids East Central led by the MCG Children's Medical Center
BATTLE OF AIKEN: 9 a.m. to dusk Saturday-Sunday; Confederate Park, Powell Pond Road; re-enactment of battle of Feb. 11-12, 1865; $12 adults, $6 pupils (6-18), ages 5 and younger free; (803) 642-2500
I CAN CRY: 7:30 p.m.; Jabez Sanford Hardin Performing Arts Center, 720 N. Belair Road, Evans; $10; (706) 399-7978, www.harlemdrama.com
ABC-123'S OF AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE: A Children's Sign Language Course: 10-11 a.m.; MCG Children's Medical Center classroom (BT 1809); children ages 6 to 12; $20. Call (706) 721-6921 for reservations.
BOOK SIGNING: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History, 1116 Phillips St.; with Cowboy Mike Searles, David Oliver Doswell, Dr. Jean L. Embry, John Daryl Blouin, Pamela Moffet Farley, Carol Spencer, Dr. Michael Weaver, the Rev. Joseph "Jo Jo" Williams, Dr. Joseph Greene, Pamela Lee, Patrick Green, Makal Ani, spoken word artist Jennifer Branch and museum historian Corey Rogers; (706) 724-3576
CELEBRATION OF THANKSGIVING: 4 p.m.; to mark 25th anniversary of Golden Harvest Food Bank; Sacred Heart Cultural Center, 1301 Greene St.; (706) 736-1199, ext. 212, www.goldenharvest.org
ADULT FORUM: 10 a.m.; St. Paul's Church, 605 Reynolds St.; with Dr. Christopher Bryan, professor of New Testament at The University of the South, Sewanee, Tenn.; (706) 724-2485
BIKE NITE 2007: 7-9 p.m. last Tuesdays of the month; SNO-CAP Drive-In, 618 W. Ave., North Augusta; held by a bike club and sponsored by a bike business; (803) 279-4004