KidTOPICS: Poison Prevention Tips

Children under the age of six are at the greatest risk for unintentional poisoning. They are curious by nature and investigate their world by putting most things in their mouths. They will eat or drink anything regardless of how it tastes. Children like the attractive packaging, good smells and are drawn to the colorful substances of many of the products found around the home .

Household and Chemical Products

bullet Use safety locks on all cabinets. Store potential poisons out of reach of small children.
bullet Store all poisonous household and chemical products out of sight of children.
bullet If you are using a product and need to answer the telephone or doorbell, take your child with you. Most poisonings occur when the product is in use.
bullet Store all products in their original containers. DO NOT use food containers such as milk jugs or soda bottles to store household and chemical products.
bullet Store food and household and chemical products in separate areas. Mistaken identity could cause a serious poisoning. Many poisonous products look alike and come in containers very similar to drinks or food, for example, apple juice and pine cleaner.
bullet Return household and chemical products to safe storage immediately after use.
bullet Use extra caution during mealtimes or when the family routine is disrupted. Many poisonings take place at this time.
bullet Pesticides can be absorbed through the skin and can be extremely toxic. Keep your child away from areas that have recently been sprayed. Store these products in a safe place where children cannot reach them.
bullet Discard old or outdated household and chemical products
bullet Take time to teach your child about poisonous substances and the meaning of the "Mr. Yuck" sign.
bullet Keep the telephone number of your local Poison Control Center programmed in or near your telephone.


bullet Keep medicines out of sight, locked up and out of reach of your child..
bullet Make sure that all medicines are in child-resistant containers and labeled properly. Remember, child-resistant does NOT mean child-proof.
bullet Never leave pills on the counter or in a plastic bags. Always store medicines in their original container with a child-resistant cap.
bullet Keep purses and diaper bags out of reach of your child. .
bullet Avoid taking medicines in front of children. Young children often imitate grown-ups.
bullet DON'T call medicine "candy."  To a child, medicines and candy look similar.
bullet Vitamins are medicine. Vitamins with iron can be especially poisonous. Keep them locked up and out of reach of children.
bullet Be aware of medicines that visitors may bring into your home. Children are curious and may investigate visitors' purses and suitcases.
bullet Keep a bottle of Ipecac Syrup AND Activated Charcoal  in your home for emergency use. Make sure your babysitter knows where you store your Ipecac Syrup AND Activated Charcoal. Do not use these products unless instructed by the Poison Control    Center or your doctor.
bullet Keep the telephone number of your local Poison Control Center programmed in or near your telephone.


bullet Know the name of the plants in your home and in your yard. Label all of your plants. If you are having difficulty identifying a plant, take a sample to a nursery for identification.
bullet Keep poisonous plants out of reach of children and pets.
bullet Teach your child not to eat mushrooms growing in the yard. Some of these mushrooms can be poisonous. Be aware that mushrooms are abundant after rainy weather.
bullet Teach your child not to eat leaves and berries that grow in the yard. Do not assume a plant is safe to eat if you see wild animals eating it.
bullet Keep your child away from plants that have recently been sprayed with weed killer, bug killer or fertilizer.
bullet If you need more information about plants in your area or would like a list of poisonous and non-poisonous plants, contact your local Poison Control Center.


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