From misplaced medications to household cleaning items, every house has its fair share of potential dangers for children. In fact, nearly 1.2 million cases of accidental poisoning in children ages 5 and younger are reported each year, with 90 percent of those occurring in the home.
This week is National Poison Prevention Week and a great time to review Safe Kids Fayette County’s tips for keeping your house safe for children. Check out our guidelines below and print this post to hang on your fridge or near your phone.
Store potentially poisonous household products and medications out of children’s sight and reach.
- Read labels to find out what is poisonous. Potential hazards include makeup, medicine, plants, cleaning products, pesticides, art supplies, and beer, wine and liquor.
- Never leave potentially poisonous household products unattended while in use.
- Be aware of poisons that may be in your handbag. Store handbags out of the reach of young children.
- Never mix cleaning products.
- Buy child-resistant packages when available. Keep products in their original packages to avoid confusion.
Be safe when taking or administering medication.
- Always read labels, follow directions and give medicines to children based on their weights and ages. Only use the dispensers packaged with children’s medicines.
- Do not refer to your medication as candy. Children should not think of prescription or over the counter (OTC) medication as treats.
- Many parents keep their medications on the kitchen counter, on the nightstand, on the dinner table or in personal bags, such as purses, as a personal reminder to take our pills, but these are all easily accessible areas for children. Instead, write a note to remind yourself so you can keep all medication in a cabinet or area that is up and away from your children’s view and grasp.
Keep the toll-free nationwide poison control center number, 800-222-1222, and local emergency numbers near or programmed into every phone in your house.
- If you suspect poisoning and a child is choking, collapses, can’t breathe or is having a seizure, call 911. Otherwise, call the poison control hotline and have the ingested product on hand to discuss with the operator.
- Follow the operator’s instructions.
- Don’t make the child vomit or give him or her anything unless directed.