Poison Prevention Tips for Parents

Poison Prevention Tips for ParentsThis week is National Poison Prevention Week so we’re sharing poison prevention tips for parents to help keep your little ones safe. These vital reminders may make the difference between life and death for your children. Take this time to reevaluate your home and safety habits so your kids don’t become part of the startling statistics:

According to Poison Control, children under the age of 6 make up half of the poison exposures in the U.S. Infants and toddlers were the most likely to be affected. The most common poison exposure may surprise you: it is personal care items and cosmetics. Cleaning supplies and medications followed closely behind.

Take precautions to keep your kids safe with these poison prevention tips for parents:

Poison Prevention Tip #1: Be Vigilant with Medications

Whether it’s storing or administering, many poison exposures are related to medications. It’s essential that prescription and over-the-counter medications are only given according to dosage instructions. Read the directions, measure carefully and take note of the timing when giving your kids medication. Only give your children prescription medications meant for them and prescribed by a healthcare provider. Always keep medications in their original bottles with safety caps and locked out of reach of small children. Never set a dose of medication on the table when children are around as they may grab it when you’re not looking. Also, dispose of medications when you’re done with them or when they expire.

Poison Prevention Tip #2: Store Household Cleaners Out of Reach

The best storage places for dangerous chemicals are out of the sight and reach of young children. A high cabinet that locks is ideal. If your storage cabinets are not high, secure locks should be mandatory. Always keep products in their original containers so you can read the directions with each use. Never store cleaning products or chemicals in food containers as children may be confused about their contents. Use products when children are not around and never leave them out with your kids unattended. Never mix chemicals or cleaners and turn on fans or open windows after use to prevent toxic fumes.

Poison Prevention Tip #3: Keep Cosmetics and Personal Care Items Away from Kids

You may not realize it but your lipstick and deodorant are dangerous to your kids. They may see you using these items often and feel it is safe to give them a try but this category is the leading cause of poison exposure among young children. Beyond what you keep in your bathroom, consider items that may be in your purse or lying around your house. Put them away to avoid a potential hazard for your little ones.

Poison Prevention Tip #4: Check your Home

Homes built before 1978 may have lead-based paint. You may need to remove lead sources and take actions to prevent lead dust from being near your children. In addition to smoke detectors, homes need carbon monoxide detectors. And if you live in an area where radon is common you may want to have your house tested for that substance as well.

Poison Prevention Tip #5: Be Prepared

Should your child have a poison exposure, take action quickly. Keep emergency numbers for poison control, your pediatrician and the nearest hospital by your phone. Call 911 immediately if you fear your child has ingested poison or is showing signs of respiratory distress.

Sources: Poison Control, Safe Kids and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention