keep poison prevention top of mind during spring cleaning
it's national poison prevention week
The recent warm weather may have you itching to get out in your garden or clear away the clutter in your house. As you pull out the fertilizers and crawl under the cabinets, make sure you keep poison prevention at the top of your “to do” list.
Many of the products you use to garden or clean are poisonous. During National Poison Prevention Week, it’s a great time to make sure you are treating those chemicals with caution. “Curious kids can get into trouble fast,” says Jessica Saunders, director of Dayton Children’s Center for Child Health and Wellness, Safe Kids Greater Dayton coordinator and Dayton Children’s mommy safety blogger. “They want to help you and that brightly colored bottle of weed and feed with pretty flowers on the front is too tempting to ignore. Follow some simple tips to keep your kids safe from touching or tasting toxic chemicals.”
- Keep cleaning products and chemicals in the original containers
- Store them up and away from children, and warn them not to touch
- Open windows and run fans, if using indoors
- Keep children away from an areas that were sprayed with bug or weed killer for at least an hour or per package directions
- Wash skin and clothing after using cleaning or gardening chemicals
Gardening and cleaning chemicals aren’t the only poison danger. Each year, nearly 100 children die from unintentional poisoning. Poison control centers receive 1.2 million calls about kids age 5 and younger alone.
According to a 2012 research report by Safe Kids Worldwide, the percentage of child poisoning deaths from medication had nearly doubled since the 1970s. "It doesn't take much to make a small child sick," says Saunders. "Almost half of poison exposures for children younger than age 5 are caused by medicine. Children have faster metabolisms than adults and anything they ingest will be absorbed into the bloodstream very quickly."
In addition to medications, here are some other items to make sure are up and away from your children.
- Button batteries
- Hand sanitizers
Even things you can’t see can be poisonous, like carbon monoxide. The colorless, odorless gas can build up from faulty furnaces or fireplaces and be deadly. Make sure you invest in at least one carbon monoxide detector. One on every floor is best, and outside every sleeping area. They only cost $20 and can save the lives of the entire family.
All parents should also take a few minutes this week to program the number of the Poison Help line into their phone. It's 1-800-222-1222. Nurses, doctors, pharmacists and other poison control experts are ready 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to help you in an emergency and provide you with free, confidential advice on how to protect your family from poison dangers.
For more information, contact: