Children’s safety is a top priority, and learning how to keep your home safe is essential. One aspect of home safety is keeping kids out of dangerous things they could ingest.
According to Safe Kids Worldwide, poisoning is the third leading cause of unintentional injury death among children ages 1 to 19 years.
Though you know to keep your bleach and cleaning supplies away from easy reach, it’s just as important to store vitamins, pet food, and even colorful laundry soap safely. These everyday items can harm children if ingested – and they are the kind of things little kids are drawn to.
Tips for Poison Prevention in Children
To keep your children safe from accident poisonings, here are a few tips.
- Use childproof locks on cabinets and drawers, but don’t trust them completely. These devices are great for the early days of crawling, but a savvy toddler can overcome them pretty easily.
- Store hazards in high places. Cleaning supplies, pet food, and other enticing things are best kept in places where children can’t reach. While a safety lock can be a challenge to overcome, keeping hazards high keeps things out of sight and out of mind.
- Follow the directions. Always follow the directions when you give your children medications or use household products around them. Even harmless-seeming items, like zinc gummies, can be dangerous if kids take too many.
- Teach your children about poison. When age-appropriate, teach your children about poisons and their effects. Even in the early years, you can make faces to suggest certain items are “yucky.” Such intentional language may keep them from wanting to test something out after a stern, “no.”
- Do some research. Certain types of harmless items can be hazardous for young ones. Honey before age one, for instance, and aspirin during childhood can be dangerous.
- Keep poison control information displayed. If your child is ever accidentally poisoned, you’ll need to know what poison was involved, and may need to call for help. Keep the poison control center’s phone number in a safe, easy-to-find place, like on your refrigerator, as well as your pediatrician’s number.
Tips for Poison Treatment in Children
If your child does come in contact with poison, a few treatment tips include:
- Swallowed toxin: Contact poison control and potentially seek immediate emergency care.
- Eye or skin exposure: Wash eye or skin thoroughly and continuously for 15 minutes with room temperature water.
- Lodged or swallowed battery: Seek emergency hospital treatment immediately.
Poison-Control Center Number: 1-800-222-1222
The information and content on our website should not be used as a substitute for medical treatment or advice from your doctor.