Each year, unintentional poisonings from medicines and household chemicals kill about 30 children and prompt more than one million calls to the nation's Poison Control Centers (1-800-222-1222), according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The good news is that, with a few steps of prevention, poisoning can be prevented. Learn how you can protect your child with these safety tips.
- Use child-resistant packaging properly by closing the container securely after use.
- Keep all chemicals and medicines locked up and out of sight.
- Keep the number of your local Poison Control Center near every phone, and call immediately in case of poisoning.
- Keep on hand a bottle of syrup of ipecac, but use it only if the Poison Control Center instructs you to induce vomiting.
- When products are in use, never let young children out of your sight, even if you must take them along when answering the phone or doorbell.
- Keep medicinal and chemical items in their original containers.
- Leave the original labels on all products, and read the labels before using the products.
- Don't put decorative lamps or candles that contain lamp oil where children can reach them.
- Always leave the light on when giving or taking medicine. Check the dosage every time.
- Avoid taking medicine in front of children. Refer to medicine as "medicine," not "candy."
- Clean out the medicine cabinet periodically and safely dispose of unneeded and outdated medicines.