Poison is a real danger for American kids. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 300 children go to an emergency department each day due to poisoning. And every day, two kids die. It’s heartbreaking, but there are ways you can help keep your child safe from potentially poisonous products.
Store it up, up and away
Keep medicines and household products out of sight and out of reach. Under-sink cabinets might feel out of the way, but that’s eye level for young children. Move bleach, detergents and dishwashing liquids to a new spot. Install child safety locks on cabinets where you keep poisonous items.
Use it carefully
When you’re giving or taking medication or using household products, think through your routine. Don’t put the next dose on the counter where a child could reach it. Secure child safety caps completely. Put medications (as well as vitamins and supplements) and household products away as soon as you’re done with them.
Think outside the cabinet
Medications and cleaning supplies aren’t the only dangerous items in a home. Keep these potential poisons safely out of a little ones’ reach:
- tobacco and e-cigarettes, especially liquid nicotine
- alcoholic beverages
- pesticides and insect repellents
- button batteries, like those found in musical greeting cards or key fobs
- oils and lubricants, including fragrance oils, tiki-torch oil and engine oil
- personal care products, especially contact lens solution and hand sanitizers
Know the number
Free poison help is available at 800-222-1222. Put this number into your cell phone and post it near any home phones. The line is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and offers help in both English and Spanish. Call 911 instead if a child has collapsed or is not breathing.
Kids can get into trouble when adults turn away for just a moment. The right precautions can help keep your family safe.
Additional sources: American Association of Poison Control Centers; Safe Kids Worldwide.
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