Did you know that children under the age of six make up almost half (48%) of the poison exposures each year? It is essential that you as a parent have access to the information and strategies you need to keep your child safe, so we wanted to give you some simple tips to prevent your child from getting their hands on something that could be hazardous to their health.
Around the House
Whether you have children, or are expecting, there are a number of things that you can do around the house to keep your children safe, and it all starts with baby proofing. Of course, softening sharp corners and edges around the house is one thing, but when it comes to poison prevention, your number one objective is to keep medicines, household cleaning products, and other potentially poisonous household goods out of sight and out of reach. How?
- Install safety latches on any cabinets containing poisonous materials.
- Store hazardous household products up high.
- Purchase products that come in child-resistant packaging* as an extra line of defense.
*It is extremely important to note that child-resistant packaging is NOT childproof. This type of packaging is designed to make it difficult for a child to open the product, giving you more time to notice and remove it.
Children get sick, it’s a fact of life, and naturally we reach for a variety of medicines to cure their ailments. But, with that being said, improper use of medicine, be it the wrong dosage or use of the wrong medicine, can have devastating effects on your child. To avoid any mishaps, use the following poison safety tips concerning your over the counter and prescription medicines:
- Always turn on the light when searching for and administering medicine to avoid grabbing the wrong bottle
- Read the label and any directions listed on the packaging thoroughly
- Double-check the dosage before administering
- Never leave a medicine bottle out (on a counter, at your child’s bedside)
- Never refer to medicine as “candy” or a “treat” to entice your child to take it
- Avoid taking medicine in front of children whenever possible
Household Chemical Products
Household cleaning products, especially things like bright colored laundry detergent pods, and other sweet smelling cleaners, are dangerous for young children who learn with their mouths. The same goes for things like paint, rodent/insect poison, and more. To protect your child…
- NEVER, under any circumstance, use a food container, cup, or bottle to store chemical products
- Always remove any toys (child or pet) from your yard before applying pesticides of any kind
- Rinse and re-cap empty cleaner/product bottles before recycling or disposal
- Keep products in their original containers whenever possible
There are other potentially dangerous products and items that can be found around your house. For instance, you need to know about the plants in and around your home, removing any that are poisonous, regardless of how beautiful they may be. From washing all clothing worn when using pesticides and other aerosol paints to keeping purses containing medicine up high and out of your child’s reach, there are many ways to create a safe environment for your children. Two of the most important tips are the following:
- Always close containers if you are interrupted during use, this way, your child never has access to an open hazardous product/medicine/etc. while you are distracted.
- Teach your child to always ask an adult before eating or drinking anything.
By following these tips, you can help to protect your children from a potentially life-threatening encounter with poison. If you ever suspect that your child, or anyone that you know has been poisoned, do not hesitate to call the Poison Help Line at 1-800-222-1222.