You may have poison in your home. In fact, you probably know where most of it is, but your child might not. One hundred sixty-five young children are treated for poisoning each day in American emergency rooms. If your child ingests something they shouldn’t, call Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222.
The best way to keep your children safe is to keep dangerous items out of their sight and out of their reach. Cabinets in which cleaning products are kept, should have childproof locks. If your children are old enough to understand, be sure to warn them that cleaners and the like are not food. Don’t let kids play with empty bottles that had poisonous substances in them, no matter how thoroughly you clean them; even if there’s no danger from trace amounts of residue, you don’t want them thinking of the bottles as toys. Medication is another danger, so make sure all pill bottles—even medicine for children—is in child-safe packaging and don’t refer to medication as “candy.” In addition, cosmetics are a common cause of accidental poisonings. Nail polish and perfume are some of the major culprits.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, if someone is poisoned, it is important not to induce vomiting. This could worsen the effects and do more harm. Call the poison control hotline, 1-800-222-1222, and try to have available the victim’s age and weight, the container or bottle of the poison and the time of the poison exposure. However, time is of the essence, so as long as you have a general idea of what the poison is, you shouldn’t delay calling while you look for the bottle.