Household Poisoning Hazards

Aufpassen: Baby will mit Putzmittel spielenPoison control centers across the country receive more than two million calls a year. Most of the calls involve children ages 5 and under who have been accidentally exposed to poisons in the home.

Considering the active and curious nature of young children, parents need to take extra precautions to prevent their little explorers from getting into dangerous household items.

Dr. Lilit Minasyan, who works in the Emergency Department at CHOC, offers the following tips to help prevent accidental household poisonings:

  • Store all vitamins, narcotics, over-the-counter medications, household cleaners, cosmetics and liquor in a locked or latched cabinet out of the reach of children.. Even items that may seem harmless, like iron-rich vitamins meant for adults, could be dangerous if kids ingest them in large quantities.
  • Never tell children that vitamins or medications are candy.
  • Always keep pills, household cleaners, liquids and other possibly toxic substances in their original containers. Don’t put them in soda bottles or food containers; your child might eat or drink from them.
  • Don’t keep cleaning supplies, including dishwasher detergent and dishwashing liquids, under the kitchen sink where kids can easily get to them.
  • Keep hazardous automotive products, locked and out of a child’s reach, in the garage.
  • While cleaning the house or using household chemicals, never leave the bottles unattended if a small child is present.
  • Memorize the national poison control center phone number – 1-800-222-1222 – and program it into your cellphone.

If you think your child has ingested a toxic substance, don’t induce vomiting, says Dr. Minasyan. A child could choke on the vomit or the vomit could travel into the lungs. Some cleaners and substances will cause internal burns in the mouth and throat, so it’s important to avoid further injury.

If your child is unconscious, not breathing, or having convulsions or seizures, call 911. If your child has mild or no symptoms, call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.

To learn more about poison prevention in the home, please visit choc.org/health.

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Keep Your Children Safe from Poisoning

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National Poison Prevention Week is March 18-24. To keep your children safe from poisonous substances lurking around your home, check out the tips below recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

• Keep the poison control number, 1-800-222-1222, on or near every home telephone and save it on your cell phone. The line is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

• Store all medicines and household products away and out of sight in a childproof cabinet where a child cannot reach them.

• When you are taking or giving medicines:

–  If you have to do something else while taking medicine, such as answer the phone, take any young children with you.
–  Secure the child safety cap completely every time you use a medicine.
–  Be aware of any legal or illegal drugs that guests may bring into your home. Ask guests to store drugs where children cannot find them.  Children can easily get into pillboxes, purses, backpacks, or coat pockets.
–  Do not call medicine “candy.”

• Identify poisonous plants in your house and yard and place them out of reach of children or remove them.

• Other common poisons for children include:
–  Cosmetics such as perfume or nail polish, and personal care products such as deodorant and soap.
–  Cleaning products (for example, laundry detergent and floor cleaners).
–  Foreign bodies and toys including silica gel packages to remove moisture in packaging and glow products.
–  Topical preparations such as diaper rash products, hydrogen peroxide, acne preparations, or calamine lotion.

If A Poisoning Occurs:
• Remain calm.

• Call 911 if you have a poison emergency and the victim has collapsed or is not breathing. If the victim is awake and alert, dial 1-800-222-1222. Try to have this information ready:
–  Victim’s age and weight
–   Container or bottle of the poison if available
–   Time of the poison exposure
–   Address where the poisoning occurred

• Stay on the phone and follow the instructions from the emergency operator or poison control center.

 

For more information, please visit the CDC website: http://www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Poisoning/preventiontips.htm
Or, the American Association of Poison Control Centers:
http://www.aapcc.org/dnn/PoisoningPrevention/FAQ/tabid/117/Default.aspx .

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