Young children are curious and fast. The best way to prevent poisoning at home is to think about it and take precautions before an emergency occurs. That includes talking with your family. These tips can help:
Put the 24-hour Poison Help Line number, 800-222- 1222, on or near every home phone and in your cell phone. This number immediately connects you to your local poison-control center.
Store medicines and household products in a high cabinet.
When taking vitamins or medicines, don’t put your next dose on the table where children can reach it. Secure the child-safety cap every time you use a medicine or vitamin.
Ask guests to store their medications where children can’t find them. Children can easily get into pillboxes, purses, backpacks or coat pockets.
Never call medicine “candy.” This can be confusing to children.
Remind family members that certain everyday items, such as household cleaning solutions, cosmetics, lawn-care products and plants, can be poisonous.
Explain that some poisons, such as carbon monoxide, cannot be seen or smelled but they are still dangerous. Install carbon- monoxide detectors in your home.
Store chemicals and medications in their original containers. Original containers for these products contain information that may be needed in a poisoning. In addition, medicines and chemicals that have been transferred to an unlabeled container may be difficult to identify. Use of food containers (such as drinking glasses, cups or soda cans) to store pesticide solutions, cleaning compounds or solvents can result in an accidental poisoning.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration; Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Poison Center
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