Prevention is Key
Poisoning is one of the most common injuries to children. What is important to remember is that poisoning is preventable. Guidelines to help prevent poisoning include:
- NEVER leave small children alone even for one second. They are curious and will taste products that they find, especially ones that have a pleasant smell or appearance.
- Be aware of distractions, such as the phone, doorbell or bathing one child while another is in another room. If you go to answer the phone or the door, the children should be taken with you or the children should remain in constant sight. When attending to one child, any other children should remain in constant sight.
- All medications and household chemicals must be stored in appropriate child-proof containers and placed in locked or secured cabinets. Since children can climb, putting these items up high does not prevent the child from getting to them. Keeping medications is your purse is a common mistake - - children love to get into purses.
- Cabinets should have locks or safety latches.
- When giving medications, follow the directions accurately and put the medicine away immediately.
- Keep local emergency numbers and poison control center phone number -- 1-800-222-1222 -- by every phone.
- Know if the 911 emergency response system is available in your area.
- Be aware of what items in the home can be harmful and/or poisonous.
- If you suspect a child might have swallowed a harmful substance, do not take a “wait and see” approach. Call 911 immediately.
- Know that even when products are properly stored and medication is in child-proof containers, close supervision of the child is still the best prevention.