It’s never too early to start!

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Nick Saltsman, PharmDEvery 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:

-Stop!

-Ask a grown up!

kidsAfter this I move on to what might be the most dangerous part of the house, the medicine cabinet.

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.

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