Children under six years old are the most likely to be poisoned. To keep the children you love safe from accidental poisoning, take steps to protect them from the hazards in your home, and teach them what to do in potentially dangerous situations.
Tips to protect children from poisoning
The following products are poisonous for children:
- Painkillers like acetaminophen (Tylenol is one brand) and similar medications
- Cosmetics like perfume or nail polish
- Personal care products like deodorant and soap
- Cleaning products like laundry or dishwasher detergent and floor cleaners
Use the following tips to organize potentially poisonous products out of children’s reach:
- Store medicines and household cleaning products in locked cabinets, out of sight and reach of children.
- Keep children where you can see them at all times, even when you answer the door or telephone.
- Never leave young children alone.
- Do not leave poisons on a counter or in an unlocked cabinet.
- Never carry something that can be poisonous, such as a medicine, in a purse where children may find it.
- Use safety latches on drawers and cabinets
- Use child-resistant caps on bottles
Tips to teach children about poisoning
- If you are unsure of something that could potentially be dangerous, ask an adult.
- Poisons can be anywhere: at home, in the yard, on the playground, at school. or on the sidewalk.
- If you think someone has been poisoned, tell an adult immediately.
- To help someone who has been poisoned, call the Poison Help line (1-800-222-1222). This phone number connects you to your local poison center, and someone there can help you.
Good habits to teach children to prevent accidental poisoning:
- If you do not know what something is, do not put it in your mouth.
- Never put plants and berries in your mouth.
- Never take medicine unless a parent tells you to.
- Always let grown-ups use spray cans and bottles for you. Do not touch or play with them.
- Stay away from things in bottles and cans used to clean the house, clothes, or car.
For additional details and more information about preventing accidental poisoning among children, link to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, Safe Kids USA, About.com, and the Centers for Disease Control.
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