Protect Your Child from Poison

On average, someone calls a poison control center every 14 seconds in the U.S. Over half of all poisonings occur in children under the age of six. (American Association of Poison Control Centers)

The most common sources of childhood poisonings are cosmetics, personal care products, cleaning solutions, medications and plants.
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Poison-Proof your home
Young children love to put things into their mouth. The best way to avoid poisoning is to keep items that may harm your child out of reach, or behind locked doors. Here are some suggestions to help prevent accidental poisonings in your home:
  • Lock all poisons and medicines high, out of reach, and out of sight of children.
  • Keep all cleaning solutions (furniture polish, dish detergent, Windex, etc.) in a locked cabinet. If you must keep them under your sink, be sure to put a safety latch on the door that locks every time you close it.
  • Flush any old or leftover prescription medicines down the toilet.
  • Only buy medicines with child-resistant caps. Child-resistant caps are a good safety measure, but sometimes children still figure out a way to open the bottle. Always be sure to keep medicines out of reach or in a locked cabinet.
  • Keep daily use items like toothpaste, shampoo, soap, etc., in a separate cabinet from medicines and poisons.
  • Children learn by imitating you. Don't take medicine in front of your child.
  • Don't call medications "candy". It make the medicine appealing to your child.
  • When giving your child medication, double check the label to be sure you are giving the correct dosage.
  • Teach children to always ask before they eat or drink anything.
  • For pesticides, gasoline, paints, etc.:
  • Keep all paints, paint thinners, gasoline, oil, fertilizers and pesticides in a locked cabinet in their original containers.
Try to find the safest products for the job at hand and only buy what you need so there is no leftover product.

General House Safety
Be sure to installsmoke detectors andcarbon monoxide detectors at recommended areas in your home.
Always open the garage door before starting your car so that carbon monoxide does not build up. Be sure that all heat sources are functioning properly including gas stoves, wood stoves and kerosene heaters.

Treatment

Swallowed Poison - if a child is unconscious, not breathing, having convulsions or seizures, call 911. If the child does not have any of the above symptoms, remove any contents from his/her mouth, or have them spit it out. Do not make the child vomit as it may cause further damage. Call the Poison Control Center 800-222-1222. The Poison Control Center will ask you information about the child and the poison that might have been ingested. After determining the severity of the exposure, you will be referred to a local hospital, or given instructions on how to handle the situation at home.
IPECAC - Syrup of ipecac is a drug that was used in the past to induce vomiting in children who were thought to have ingested poison. This is not a safe treatment for poisoning. Do not make the child vomit as it may cause further damage. Do not give any other treatments to induce vomiting, such as saltwater or making the child gag.
Poison in the Eye - flush the eye by holding the eyelid open and pouring a steady stream of water into the inner corner. Be sure the water is room temperature. Continue flushing the eye for 15 minutes, then call the Poison Control Center 800-222-1222. Do not put any eye drops or other medication into the eye unless instructed to do so by the Poison Control Center.

Poison on the Skin - if a poisonous substance comes into contact with skin, remove the clothes and rinse the skin using room-temperature water for at least 15 minutes, then call the Poison Control Center 800-222-1222. Do not use any lotions or ointments on the skin until you talk to an expert.

Inhaling Poison - take the child outside to fresh air, or away from the source immediately. If the child is still breathing, call the Poison Control Center 800-222-1222. If the child is not breathing, start CPR and do not stop until the child breathes on their own or until someone takes over for you. If someone else is near, have them call 911, if not, wait until your child is breathing, or until you have performed CPR for a full minute before calling 911.

This information should not be used as a substitute for medical care or advice. Individual situations may call for variations of treatment and you should always consult a medical professional if you think your child has been poisoned.

Links
Poison Control Center
PoisonPrevention.org