CORAL SPRINGS, FL – A pediatric ER physician at Broward Health Coral Springs hosted a virtual lecture Wednesday on keeping children safe in and out of the home.

In her talk “Get To Know Your Local Children's Hospital ER and Learn Accident Prevention Facts,” Dr. Nirit Swerdloff, assistant medical director at the hospital’s pediatric emergency room, went over ways to prevent children from suffering from poisoning, burns, drowning, and other injuries.

She stressed that children have unique needs as they grow and develop which require specialized care.

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Regarding poisoning, for instance, Dr. Swerdloff said children are victims in 68 percent of all poisoning exposures. That’s because, she said: young children often explore their surroundings and put objects in their mouths.

Children can get poisoned from drinking or swallowing items such as cleaning supplies, antifreeze, mouthwash, paints, and hand sanitizer.

For these and other products, she urged parents to put safety latches on them and place them in safe places out of reach of young children.

If a poisoning happens, she said call Poison Control at 800-222-1222. Or if a child isn’t breathing, having seizures, or is unconscious, call 911.

She also stressed that different types of poisoning require different treatment:

- Skin exposure – remove clothing and rinse skin with lukewarm water for at least 15 minutes.

- Fumes – take the child outside to get fresh air.

- Ingestion/swallowing – spit out the remainder, do not make the child vomit, and don’t give the child any medication.  

In addition, Dr. Swerdloff encouraged parents to get to know the pediatric emergency services offered at Broward Health Coral Springs, which has the only children’s hospital ER in western Broward County.

The hospital, she said, has pediatric physicians, pediatric ER nurses, pediatric waiting area, pediatric intensive care unit, child life specialists, and pediatric sub-specialists.