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March is Poison Prevention Month

According to the U.S. Poison Control Centers.. "A child is accidentally poisoned every 30 seconds! And more than 50% of all poisoning occur at HOME children under 5 years of age."

Each year thousands of children are poisoned by common household products such as insect sprays, cleaners, paints, bleach, perfumes and medicines. Is your child at risk? You must learn how to keep your child safe from these harmful chemicals and prevent the risks, because any of these poisonings can be prevented.

The first step in preventing unintentional poisoning is to keep common household chemicals and medicines out of sight and out of reach of children. Store chemicals, cleaners and medicines in locked cabinets and on higher shelves. Special toddler locks are available for kitchen cabinets.

Reading and following the instructions on the product labels before use will protect you and your child. Mixing chlorine bleach with such chemicals as ammonia or acids such as vinegar or drain openers can create a toxic chlorine gas or chloramine. Know what is toxic in your home and label it accordingly.

Follow instructions of medication carefully and ask your pharmacist for child-proof containers. Never take medicine in front of your children or tell them that medicine is "candy."

There are a number of indoor and outdoor plants that can be poisonous to children. Check with your local library for books on poisonous plants and then remove them from your household.

The use of "Mr. Yuk" stickers on all your poisonous products is a good educational tool for children. Children should be instructed never to touch a container with a Mr. Yuk sticker on it.

Always be sure that your chemicals are stored in their original containers. Never put chemicals in food or drink containers. Chemicals, such as anti-freeze, which is sweet to the taste and a lovely shade of blue, resembles some of the drinks on the shelves today.

An essential medication to have in your home is syrup of ipecac. This syrup is a medicine which is used to cause vomiting in children and adults in the events of poisoning. This syrup is about $2.50 a bottle at your local pharmacy.

Some pharmacies also stock poison first aid kits. These kits contain syrup of Ipecac, activated charcoal and Epsom salts. You would use these products only after seeking professional advice as to whether to induce vomiting or not.

NEVER give Ipecac syrup, activated charcoal or Epsom salts or anything else to treat your child unless you have spoken to a poison control center, your physician or hospital emergency room first.

Finally, discuss poison proofing with grandparents and any caregivers of your children, such as your baby-sitter.

PPSI has developed information on this  important subject for your education and safety. Please review all of this important information, particularly if you have young children. It could save your life or the life of someone dear to you. Select from one of the options below to learn more.

  General Poison Prevention Tips  

  Poison Prevention Tips for Adults  

  Poison Prevention Tips for Children  

  How to Poison-Proof Your House  

  Poison Prevention Check List  

  What About Plants In and Around my House?  

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Date of Last Update: 07/27/12