Think about all the items in your home that could be poisonous if used in the wrong way. Do you have cleaning products? Of course you do! Do you have rubbing alcohol? Medicines and vitamins? What about mouthwash, laundry detergent, pesticides, batteries or gardening chemicals?
Most people have a home full of useful and necessary products that, unfortunately, also have the potential for poisoning. This is probably why more than 90 percent of poisonings happen in the home, mainly in the kitchen, bedroom and bathroom.
According to the experts at America’s 57 poison centers, you can make your home a safe home by following these important tips:
- Keep all medicines (including vitamins and herbal supplements), household cleaning products, and garden chemicals up high where children can’t see or reach them. Lock them up and away and out of sight.
- Close lids on products tightly when you are finished using them.
- Never store home or garden chemicals in food containers like bottles or cups. Keep them in their original containers.
- Never mix household cleaning products together. Mixing them can cause poisonous gasses.
- Call your local poison center immediately if you can’t find a button battery or magnet missing from a toy or other item. Button batteries and magnets can both be deadly if swallowed.
- Install a carbon monoxide detector and check the batteries twice a year.
- Applying pesticide? Follow the directions on the label and be sure to remove children, pets and toys from the area until they can return safely.
- Periodically go through your medicine cabinet and throw away old, expired or unneeded medicines.
- Post the Poison Help number by your home phone and program it into cell phones: 1-800-222-1222.
Don’t rely on cabinet locks or high places alone to keep young hands out of trouble. Child-resistant is not the same as child-proof. Children can, and often will, get into anything.
Not sure if it’s an emergency? Just have questions? When in doubt, check it out. Call your local poison center at 1-800-222-1222.
The American Association of Poison Control Centers supports the nation’s 57 poison centers in their efforts to prevent and treat poison exposures. Poison centers offer free, confidential, expert medical advice 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The hotline is staffed by specially trained medical experts – including doctors, nurses and pharmacists – who take calls in more than 150 languages and from the hearing impaired.
For questions about poison or if you think someone has been exposed to a poison, call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222 to reach your local poison center.