Medical Perspectives | Others

September 21, 2020



National Poison Prevention Week is an annual activity that is part of government and non-government efforts to inform and educate the public about how to avoid exposing anyone to the ill effects of poison. This list of the most basic tips should help keep your home and family safe from poison.

 

What are the possible sources of poison found at home

  • Drugs and medicines
  • Household cleaning products, chemicals and carbon monoxide
  • Alcohol and alcoholic beverages[1]
  • Plants[2]
  • Batteries[3]

 

How to handle drugs and medicines

  • Never call or label medicines as “candy”, as children might be attracted to take them in secret. [4]
  • Keep medicines in their original containers to avoid any accidental intake.
  • Throw away unused, unneeded and expired prescription drugs. Dispose properly.
  • Store prescription drugs, vitamins, herbal supplements and other medicines in a safe place, not easily accessible to children.[5]

 

How to handle household cleaning agents and other chemical products

  • Do not mix household chemicals together. Each cleaning agent has a separate use, and their chemical properties may not be safe when combined or create toxic gases.[6]
  • Wear the proper safety clothing or accessories, such as gloves, masks or long sleeves, when handling household chemicals.
  • Keep household cleaning products and other household chemicals in their original bottle or container. Food containers should not be used to store said products.[7]

 

How to handle alcohol and alcoholic beverages at home

  • Keep the alcohol locked up and away from children.
  • After a party, clean out all beer cans, liquor bottles and wine glasses, to eliminate risk of curious hands and lips.
  • Personal care products with alcohol such as mouthwash, cleansers and other cosmetics should be kept out of reach of children.

 

How to handle plants

  • Know the names of your plants at home so if anyone eats or falls ill, the doctor will know what to prescribe.
  • Indoor plants should not be easily accessible to young children.
  • Teach your children not to bite or eat anything without asking.

 

How to prevent battery-related poisoning

  • Store batteries properly, in a drawer or cabinet that children can not access.
  • Make sure that battery compartments of battery-operated gadgets and appliances are shut tight.
  • Be extra vigilant about smaller-sized batteries that can be mistaken for candy or food.

[1] Soloway, R. [n.d.] Alcohol: A Dangerous Poison for Children. Retrieved from https://www.webpoisoncontrol.org/articles/2013-feb/alcohol-a-dangerous-poison-for-children

 

[2] WebMD. [n.d.] Tips to Prevent Poisoning in the Home. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/children/prevent-poisoning-home#1

 

[3] WebPoisonControl.org. [n.d.]. Batteries cause devastating injuries. Retrieved from https://www.webpoisoncontrol.org/articles/button-batteries

 

[4] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. [2015, November]. Tips to Prevent Poisoning. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/poisoning/preventiontips.htm

 

[5] WebMD. [n.d.] Tips to Prevent Poisoning in the Home. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/children/prevent-poisoning-home#1

 

[6] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. [2015, November]. Tips to Prevent Poisoning. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/poisoning/preventiontips.htm

 

[7] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. [2015, November]. Tips to Prevent Poisoning. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/poisoning/preventiontips.htm

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