Ask the Expert: About Poison Prevention

Q. How can I childproof my home from poisons?

A. Children are curious by nature, but it can get them into trouble, even in the safety of their own homes. How?

Hundreds of household products, often ones within easy reach of children, can be dangerous. Take a careful look around your house and protect your kids from these potential poisons.

  • Kitchen: Items lurking beneath your kitchen sink may seem harmless, but cleaning supplies, such as glass cleaners, dish soap and drain cleaners can be poisonous. Install a safety latch on these cabinets.
  • Bathroom: Bathrooms are full of potential poisons. Watch out for prescription and over-the counter medications, including vitamins, as well as personal care items, like perfume, hairspray and makeup remover. Purchase products with child-resistant packaging, but know that this does not guarantee they are childproof. Also, be careful about products left on the bathroom counter or in an open purse.
  • Garage: Gardening supplies, such as fertilizers or pesticides, and automotive chemicals, like windshield wiper fluid, are often left on the garage floor within children’s reach. Keep these items on high shelves. Always store them in original containers.
  • Know who to call: If your child comes in contact with a poison, even with very mild or no symptoms, call the 24-hour Poison Help Hotline at 1-800-222-1222 for instructions on what to do next. Save this number to your mobile phone for easy access.

If your child is unconscious, not breathing or having convulsions, dial 911 immediately.

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