At Least 40 Household Products Can Poison Your Child
Every few seconds U.S. poison centers receive a call about someone being exposed to a poison. Forty percent of those cases involve a child under three years old.
According to the National Safety Council, more than 50 percent of over a million poisoning incidents each year involve children under six years of age.
The Environmental Protection Agency urges everyone to lock up pesticides and other household chemicals in a high cabinet out of the reach of children. In a childhood poison prevention program, EPA and the American Association of Poison Control Centers send the simple message “Lock It Up” to adults everywhere.
The campaign also publicizes the national toll-free poison center phone number 1-800-222-1222 for immediate help if a child may have been poisoned.
So many poisons!
Over 75 percent of poisoned children swallow the toxic substance or item involved, and in most poisonings, the substance is something found around almost every home: prescription drugs, non-prescription pain killers, vitamins, cosmetics, and personal care and cleaning products. A large portion of poisonings also involve house plants, tobacco products and alcohol.
Check your home for toxic products or items a child can reach:
– Bathroom: medicines, toilet cleaners, antibacterial cleaners, air fresheners, drain cleaners, mold and mildew remover, and some cosmetics.
– Kitchen: glass cleaner, antibacterial cleaner, dishwashing detergent, all-purpose cleaner, insect sprays, oven cleaner, and ant or roach baits.
– Living Room: flea collars, rug or carpet cleaners, furniture polish, cigarette or cigar butts in ash trays, and alcoholic beverages.
– Bedroom: total release insect foggers, air fresheners, and moth balls.
– Laundry Room: all-purpose cleaner, inspect sprays, chlorine bleach, woodstains and finishes, and laundry detergents.
– Garage: motor oil, windshield washer fluid, oil-based and latex paints, auto batteries, antifreeze, spot-on pesticides to control fleas and ticks on pets.
– Back Yard: weed killers, pool chemicals including algicides and chlorine, baits for rodent control, insect repellents, and some new bug zappers.
Make Your Home Safer
The National Poison Prevention Week Council recommends:
– Keep all household chemical products and medicines out of reach and out of sight of youngsters, preferably locked up when not in use. Medicines and household chemicals on kitchen counters or bathroom surfaces are very accessible to young hands. Make sure any medicines visitors may bring into your home are kept safely away from children.
– When using toxic products, never let them out of your sight, even if you must take them along when answering the telephone or the doorbell. Most poisonings occur when the product is in use.
– Store all medicines separately from household products, and store all household chemical products away from food.
– Keep products in their original containers with the original label intact. Read the label before using.
– Always leave the light on when giving or taking medicines.
– Avoid taking medicines in front of children, since youngsters tend to imitate grown-ups. Never call medicine “candy.”
The Centers for Disease Control add:
– Post the poison control number 1-800-222-1222 on or near every home telephone.
– Know the names of the plants in your house and yard. Identify poisonous plants and place them out of reach of children or remove them.
– Check your home for lead-based paints. Contact the National Lead Information Center at 1-800-424-LEAD to receive more detailed information.
Meantime, take a few minutes and look around your home. If anything can harm a child, lock it up!