poison safety during COVID-19
In preparation to ward off the COVID-19 virus, many of us have stocked up on extra cleaning supplies and medications. All of us are cleaning our houses more often and cleaning products can get left out easily. Also, since routines have changed, medication schedules may have changed as well. Medications in frequent use tend to get left out for easy access.
Nationally, poisoning is the third leading cause of unintentional injury death among children ages one to 19. Locally, Dayton Children’s saw 279 patients due to unintentional ingestions in 2019. With the change of routines around medications and cleaning supplies and children at home due to stay-at-home orders, these numbers could increase this year.
Now is a good time to make sure these items are stored up, away and out of the sight of curious kids. Here are some tips to keep all kids safe from unintentional poisoning:
- Store household products safely to prevent poisoning. Young kids are often eye-level with items under the kitchen and bathroom sinks, so make sure household cleaning products and personal care products are stored up and away, out of children’s reach and sight. This includes any cleaning products in everyday use.
- Keep all household cleaning products in their original containers. Also, when buying products, look for child-resistant containers to help prevent unintentional poisonings.
- Read and follow product labels. Check for ingredients that can be toxic to kids and make sure you use and store products according to the label.
- Kids can get into things quickly, so remember not to leave cleaning products or personal care products unattended while you are using them. Remind older kids to put all cleaning products away when they are done with chores.
- Medications should be stored, up away and out of sight, even medications taken every day. Check bags, purses, bed side tables and other places young children are able to reach for medications that may have been left out after use.
Do a clean sweep for any poisonous products at least once a day, especially since routines have changed. If an unintentional poisoning does occur, make sure you save the Poison Help number in your phone and post it visibly at home: 1-800-222-1222. Specialists at poison control centers provide free, confidential and expert medical advice 24 hours a day.