May 2016

May 31, 2016 at 11:47 AM

Over the last few years, we’ve been hearing a lot about children ingesting the detergent in those brightly colored pods.  After all, to a child they may look like candy, and the colors make them fun to play with.  They are also usually left out in plain view, unlike many other cleaning supplies found in our homes that are kept behind cabinet doors.

The first step against poisoning is prevention. Anything that can be a danger to a child should be kept out of reach and out of sight.  These include not only cleaning solutions, but medications, vitamins, alcohol, cigarettes and any other toxic materials.  There are many different kinds of locks that can be put on cabinet and closet doors to prevent children from getting into them.  According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention); “Every day, over 300 children in the United States ages 0 to 19 are treated in an emergency department, and two children die, as a result of being poisoned.”

If you suspect your child has been poisoned, call Poison Control right away at 1-800-222-1222 day or night.  Keep this number where you will be able to easily find it, or program it right into your phone.  They will be able to guide you as to what to do for your child, and if you need to call 911.  Of course, if your child is having difficulty breathing or is unconscious, the call to 911 should be made first.  If your child is not breathing and/or does not have a pulse, CPR must be started immediately.  It is crucial to know what your child has ingested.  Look for any open containers or packaging.  Give all this information to Poison Control and/or EMS when they respond.

In addition to childproofing your own home against accidental poisoning, it is also important to make sure your child’s caregivers’ homes are safe.  Make babysitters, grandparents, and anyone else who watches your child in their homes aware of the steps that need to be taken to keep your child protected.  A few simple precautions can prevent a tragedy from happening.

The Scotch Plains Rescue Squad is a volunteer organization of Neighbors Helping Neighbors.  With over 90 volunteers, we answer calls not only in Scotch Plains but in surrounding towns as well when needed.  Besides answering calls, you will see our ambulances at many special events held in town, such as Scotch Plains Day, the Memorial Day Parade, high school football games, and the summer concerts on the Village Green.  We are also available to provide demonstrations for Boys and Girls Scout troops, clubs, and any other group that may be interested in what we do.  In addition, we lend out wheelchairs, crutches, canes and other assorted medical equipment free of charge.  Please reach out to us if there is something we can do for you. Email us at or call (908) 322-2103 for non-emergencies.

The Scotch Plains Rescue Squad is entering its 78th year of all volunteer emergency medical services to the community of Scotch Plains and surrounding communities, a distinction that very few rescue squads in the state have reached.