If you took a tour through your home, you would likely find potentially poisonous substances in nearly every room of your home. Whether chemicals, medications, plants, cosmetics, batteries, the list is endless. Combined a child’s innate curiosity of the world with the numerous potential poisoning hazards within your child’s grasp and it’s no wonder that poisoning is one of the leading causes of unintentional injuries to children. What you may find surprising are the ways you maybe increasing your child’s risk. Many parents are unknowingly contributing to their child’s curiosity of potentially poisonous household items. Avoid these common parenting mistakes and reduce your child’s risk of poisoning.
Monkey See Monkey Do. Avoid taking medications in front of your child as kids love to imitate. You’ll also want to think twice about using products, such as mouthwash, in front of your little copycats.Mr. Yuk or Mr. Yum? Sure, putting Mr. Yuk stickers on chemical bottles seems like a good idea, but when most kids identify stickers and bright colors with fun, it’s essential that your child understands what this funny man really means…DANGER- STAY AWAY!
Heart Medication or Sweet Tarts? Think your child can tell the difference between candy and medicine? Can you? Test yourself. The California Poison Control System has created a fabulous online test challenging you to identify which picture is the pill and which is the candy. Give it a shot. It’s entertaining, enlightening, and harder than you think! Choose Your Poison.
Out of Reach AND Out of Sight. Storing chemicals and medications on a high shelf is not enough – most resourceful toddlers can master a countertop climb. Instead keep items out of sight, out of reach, and locked up! Childproof your cabinets and drawers and add door locks to closets that contain potentially poisonous items. Child safety lock boxes are an excellent way for you to lock up chemicals and medications. Childproofing is a must and will significantly reduce the likelihood of an accident.
Coins, Cosmetics, and Pills – OH MY! What’s in your purse? If your purse doubles as a pharmacy, you may want to think twice about where you store it. Allowing your child access to diaper bags, purses, and backpacks also allows them access to the contents. Avoid using your purse as a medicine cabinet and keep all bags up and out of reach.
For more Poison Safety Information and Tips visit the National Capital Poison Center.