As parents, we all want to keep our children safe, and before our first baby is born we begin childproofing our homes, making sure that there will be nothing that can harm them within reach. Perhaps as they get older, and we add to the family, we begin to relax a little too much. We may also be unaware that certain things are toxic. Taking care of a family is something that requires continued education and maybe even think about it as recertification, reminding ourselves of things we may have forgotten.
You should always have emergency numbers posted someplace where nothing can be piled on top of them. I like to keep them taped inside a cabinet door in the kitchen. I see it every day so I’ll never forget where the important numbers are.
The Poison Control Center can be reached 24 hours a day and 365 days a year at 1 800 222 1222
Storage of Hazardous Chemicals
Keep poisonous products and medication out of children’s reach, and sight. Some toddlers are natural climbers so if they can see it and want it, they will find a way to reach it.
Toxic cleaning products like toilet cleaner, bleach, and oven cleaner, should be never be left unattended when you are using them. It takes seconds for a curious child to ingest poison. Put the products away before answering a phone call or the doorbell.
Have a look around your bathroom and make sure you don’t have anything toxic within reach. Things like cosmetics, nail polish and remover, hair dye, hair spray, perfume, mouthwash, anti-perspirant are all hazardous.
Always keep cleaning products in their original containers so nobody gets confused by something that is mislabeled.
Buy child resistant packaging whenever possible, but don’t rely on special lids to keep kids out. Small children need to be constantly supervised.
Keep medications stored out of reach, preferably locked away. It’s a good idea to always keep track of how many pills are left in a prescription bottle so you will know how many are missing.
Dangers In Your Handbag
Any medications stored in a handbag should be in the original bottle and with a childproof cap. Keep the purse where kids won’t be able to get into it. You should also be aware of common things like makeup and hand sanitizer in your bag can also be toxic if ingested.
Medicine and Vitamins
Vitamins containing iron can be toxic and fatal if a child overdoses on them. Never tell your child that vitamins or medication are candy. They will go looking for it when they run out of M&Ms. Be very careful administering medication to children. Most doses need to be measured based on the child’s weight.
In The Garage
Don’t leave things like fertilizer and bug killer on the floor of the garage. Paints and thinners are all toxic and can even be harmful when absorbed through the skin.
Many plants in your yard or the gardens of your family and friends are toxic. Teach children to recognize poisonous plants and avoid them. Some to watch for are rhododendron, holly, mistletoe, and lily of the valley.
Susan W. writes about chemical and nutritional safety for pets and children you can read more of her work here.
Photo Credit: Thorius