Poison Prevention: Tips to Keep Your Kids Safe

Toddler testing child proofed cabinets

Danger Zone: Nearly 90% of poison exposures occur in the home.

Krystle Garrett took every precaution to child-proof her house, even putting locks on her cabinet doors though her 5-year-old son, Chandler, had never tried to open them.

Mom with her son

Chandler with his mom, Krystle

Then one day Krystle walked in the house from work and found Chandler in his room finishing off nine packets of Children’s Tylenol pills. “He was putting on his pajamas after his bath and found the packets in my makeup bag in a cabinet,” says Krystle. “I was scared.”

Krystle’s immediate response was the right one, according to Collin Goto, M.D., a pediatric toxicologist at Children’s Medical Center. She called Poison Control and brought Chandler to the Children’s Emergency Department, where the staff monitored him for five hours before discharging him.

Krystle’s best advice for parents : “Put things out of reach and double lock all cabinets. Our cabinets had childproof locks, and he was still able to get in.”

9 Ways to Protect Against Childhood Poisoning

  1. Know which products in your house can be dangerous. Even mouthwash can poison children.
  2. Be aware of poisons that may be in your handbag. Store handbags out of the reach of young children.
  3. Never call medicine or vitamins “candy.”
  4. Take medicine when children are not present. Children mimic adults, and may not understand the danger.
  5. Buy child-resistant packages when available. Keep products in their original packages to avoid confusion.
  6. Never leave potentially poisonous household products unattended while in use.
  7. Keep personal products out of reach. Store items such as hair spray, shampoo and nail polish remover in a safe place.
  8. Place carbon monoxide monitors near each bedroom in your house.
  9. Keep the toll-free nationwide Poison Control Center number 800-222-1222 and local emergency numbers on your home and cell phones. You should also post it near your phone or on your refrigerator for the babysitter.

Did You Know

Among children ages 5 and under, 60% of poisoning exposures are by non-pharmaceutical products such as cosmetics, cleaning substances, plants, foreign bodies and toys, pesticides, art supplies and alcohol; 40% are by pharmaceuticals.

Source: Safe Kids Worldwide

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