Summer Smiles, Grad Gifts, and Great Giveaways
- May 31, 2023
Poisons are all around us, and notably in our homes. The Health Resources and Services Administration says that more than 90 percent of poisonings happen at home — with many occurring in the bathroom, kitchen and bedroom. The American Association of Poison Control Centers reports that the 55 poison control centers across the United States
Poisons are all around us, and notably in our homes.
The Health Resources and Services Administration says that more than 90 percent of poisonings happen at home — with many occurring in the bathroom, kitchen and bedroom. The American Association of Poison Control Centers reports that the 55 poison control centers across the United States receive millions of calls every year. Many interactions with poisons can be avoided by implementing smart poison control strategies at home.
Choose products with child safety caps
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports nine out of 10 poisoning incidents involving children occur in the home. In 2019, approximately 67,500 children under the age of five ended up in emergency rooms due to unintended poisoning. Parents can protect children by keeping medicines in their original child-safe containers. When buying cleansers, cleaners and detergents, choose products that have strong child-safety lids and seals.
Up and away
Store cleaning products and cosmetics up high or behind locked cabinet doors. Simply having them out of sight and out of mind can prevent interaction.
Use original containers
It’s tempting to transfer certain cleaning products or chemicals to other bottles or jars for ease of use, but this can be dangerous. People in the home may mistakenly ingest something if it is transferred to a beverage container or something typically used for food storage. Plus, should ingestion occur, you will no longer have the safety label in place. That means you won’t have immediate access to safety protocols that can save lives.
Avoid sharing meds
Never share prescription medicines with other people. Poisoning can occur because medicines are prescribed based on weight and other physical factors. One individual can be seriously impaired by a medication even if it’s safe for another person. In addition, drugs can interact with other medicines, including over-the-counter products, further increasing the risk for accidents.
Supervise children when using any products, as they can be dangerous if not used correctly. These include art supplies, cleaning supplies and even hand sanitizers and soaps.
Handle foods properly
Foods must be properly stored at the correct temperature and cooked to a safe level. Always wash fresh fruits and vegetables with running water. Never use commercial cleaning products on foods or food packaging. Always wash hands and counters before preparing food. Promptly refrigerate or freeze foods if they will be saved as leftovers, as bacteria can grow quickly at room temperature.
Keep the poison hotline number nearby
Program the National Poison Help Line number into your cell phone and post it near the landline phone. It is 1-800-222-1222. Promptly call in a poisoning situation for assistance.
Poison prevention is an important lesson to review at home and discuss with all household members to avoid potentially fatal injuries.