Making Your Home Poison Proof
The checklist below covers the areas in your home that are the most common sites of accidental poisonings. Use it to help make changes for the better! Your goal is to be able to answer “yes” to all questions.
|Do all harmful products in the cabinets have child-resistant caps?
Be especially vigilant with products such as furniture polish, drain cleaner, and some oven cleaners.
|Are all potentially harmful products in their original containers?
Remember, if products aren’t stored in the original container, you will no longer have the information contained on the label. Labels on the original containers often give first aid information if someone should swallow the product. Also, if a toxic product is stored in a drinking glass or soda bottle, someone may think it is food and swallow it.
|Are harmful products stored away from food?
If harmful products are placed next to food, someone could mix up the poison with the food.
|Have all potentially harmful products been put up high and out of reach of children?
The best way to prevent poisoning is making sure that it's impossible to find and reach the poisons. Locking any cabinet that holds dangerous products is the best poison prevention.
|Did you ever stop to think that medicines could poison if used improperly?
Many children are poisoned each year by overdoses of aspirin. If aspirin can poison, just think of how many other poisons might be in your medicine cabinet.
|Do your aspirin and other potentially harmful products have child-resistant closures?
Aspirin and most prescription drugs are available with child-resistant caps. Make sure your products have child-resistant caps and that they are properly secured. Also, check your prescriptions before leaving the pharmacy to make sure the medicines are in child-resistant packaging. These caps have been shown to save the lives of children.
|Have you thrown out all out-of-date prescriptions?
As medicines get older, the chemicals inside them can change. So what was once a good medicine may now be harmful. Flush all old drugs down the toilet. Rinse the container well, then discard it.
|Are all medicines in their original containers with the original labels?
Prescription medicines may or may not list ingredients. The prescription number on the label will, however, allow rapid identification by the pharmacist of the ingredients should they not be listed. Without the original label and container, you can't be sure of what you're taking.
|If your vitamins or vitamin/mineral supplements contain iron, are they in child-resistant packaging?
Most people think of vitamins and minerals as nutritional supplements and, therefore, nontoxic, but some iron pills can kill a child.
|The Garage and Storage Areas|
|Did you know that many things in your garage or storage area that can be swallowed are poisons?
Death may occur when people swallow such everyday substances as charcoal lighter, paint thinner and remover, antifreeze and turpentine. Do these poisons (charcoal lighter, paint thinner and remover, antifreeze and turpentine) have child-resistant caps?
|Are poisonous products kept in the original containers with labels?|
|Have you made sure that no poisons are stored in drinking glasses or soda bottles?|
|Are all harmful products locked up and out of sight and reach?|