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General Tips on Poison Prevention

Prevent accidental poisonings around your home by responding to the suggested poison prevention tips listed below. Please review our checklist for your home, babysitter's home, and grandparents' home.

Keep all medications, cleaning products or chemicals out of reach and sight of children. Install safety latches on cabinets and drawers. Don't always rely on just close supervision for prevention, because many accidents occur even when a child is within reach of parents and caretakers.

Make sure to ask your pharmacist to use child-resistant containers for all medications. Remember they are called child-resistant not "child proof". They will not stop a child from opening a container. They will only slow them down.

Never refer to medication as candy and don't make a game of taking medication. Do not let children play with a medication container, even if it is empty.

Discard all old medications by flushing them down the toilet. Never throw pills in a trash can.

Teach children to ask an adult before putting anything in their mouths.

Children like to imitate adults, so avoid taking medication in front of a child.

Do not remove labels from old medication bottles and do not mix medications together. Always read labels prior to taking medications. Do not take any medications intended for someone else or use expired or unused prescriptions that you have stored in a medicine cabinet.

Do not mix chemicals! Read all labels for precautions before use. Remember, even common household cleaners can emit toxic gases when mixed together. Make sure you are using products in well-ventilated areas and wearing the proper protective attire.

Never store chemicals or cleaning products in unmarked containers or food and beverage containers. There are many colorful drinking products on the market, and each year thousands of children and adults mistake poisonous chemicals for what they thought was a harmless drink of lemonade or juice.

Learn the proper names of plants in and around your home and mark each plant with this name. Local nurseries can be helpful in identifying plants. Be prepared ahead of time, since poisonings can occur at any time of the day and night.

When called to the door or phone, take any open and available product or your child with you.

Take extra care at times of family stress and when family activities are taking place. This is a common time for poisonings to occur.

Have all gas appliances checked regularly for leakage and damage.

Keep syrup of ipecac in your home, but always call your local poison center or physician before using this.

Have a poison center sticker posted on each phone in the home!


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