Most Poisonings Happen to Children Under 5

Children under the age of 5 are in stages of growth and development in which they are constantly exploring and investigating the world around them. This is the way they learn. It is a normal characteristic and should not be discouraged. Unfortunately, what children see and reach, they usually put in their mouths. It is this behavior that dramatically increases a child's likelihood of being exposed to poison.

As your child's mobility, ingenuity, and capabilities increase, he or she can reach medicines and household chemicals wherever they may be stored. For example, when your child is crawling, he or she can find products that are stored low to the ground, such as cleansing products kept under the sink. As soon as the child is able to stand, such products as furniture polish on low-lying tables, are fair game, as well as medications in purses on beds.

When your child starts to climb, he or she may be able to reach medicine on countertops or even open the medicine cabinet and get to the medicine -- but he or she is still too young to understand the dangers in putting these items in the mouth.

Products that can harm children should be locked up when possible, or at the very least, placed of out reach, even when safety packaging is used. 

Adults should never leave a medicine or household chemical product unattended while in use – children act fast and can find and swallow a product during the short time it takes for you to answer the telephone or doorbell. 

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