HEALTH WATCH: Poisoning

Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 01:54 PM CDT
HEALTH WATCH: Poisoning story image
ESCAMBIA COUNTY   --  March is Poison Prevention Month. Escambia County has a higher incidence than most Florida counties when it comes to accidental poisonings.

25 years has not erased the worse moment of Rick Hazelip's life.
(("We've drawn some blood and we can tell he had at least two swallows and your son will die today."))

Rick was a paint contractor.  His then two year old Jonathon drank paint deglosser -- a highly toxic chemical compound.

("Why didn't I put the top back on the bottle, why did I leave it on that shelf."))
Sacred Heart Hospital's Chief Medical Officer Doctor Stephanie Duggan understands -- she says accidental pediatric poisonings are the toughest cases she's worked on in her fifteen years in emergency medicine.

(("I can't imagine being those parents, I think about them every day. I had a case on Christmas Eve, 14 years ago."))
During her residency -- Duggan volunteered at a Poison Control Center. That experience and her ER years shaped her parenting approach to safety.

(("My girlfriend said that I was so neurotic with my first child she wouldn't invite me over to her home until I had a second child as hard as that was to accept, it was true."))

Duggan says most accidental poisonings involve kids under five taking medicine.
(("Grama's come and there's a lot of excitement in the house, Grama's pills will be sitting out and they look a lot like M and M's and they can look a lot like Smarties."))

Duggan says heart meds are particularly deadly for young children.
(("Even one pill of one of those is catastrophic."))

Duggan advises child locks, storing medicines and chemicals out of reach.  But her main advice to avoid any kind of accident may surprise you.

(("Get help when you're tired. I think that is the number one reason we get into trouble."))
After Rick Hazelip's toddler drank the labeled "fatal if swallowed" chemical -- the child recovered to the total astonishment of his doctor.

Jonathon is now a Master Mechanic and has just a few scars on his tongue from the ordeal.  The incident was a turning point for Hazelip.  He left painting and became a minister..

(("From that moment on, I partnered with my son to see what we're gonna do with this one wild and precious life and how can I help him be successful."))HEALTH WATCH: Poisoning
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