Safety Tips: Poisons

  1. Toddlers and preschoolers are the most likely to be poisoned, because they are curious, unpredictable and fearless. They imitate what they see grownups doing, which includes getting things out of cabinets and taking medicines.
  2. Adults have to make homes and daycare centers safe for children.
  3. Store all chemicals and medicines separately and safely, and in a locked cabinet. Putting them on a high shelf is worthless when it comes to kids who can climb.
  4. Don’t leave cosmetics, cleaners, vitamins or cigarettes on a shelf or counter.
  5. Never leave a container of hazardous material, even for a brief time. Poisonings often happen when an adult gets interrupted while using a product and leaves to answer the phone or to see who’s at the door.
  6. Don’t assume there is such a thing as a “child-proof” cap. Some are “child resistant,” but none are child-proof–they just take a little longer for an inquisitive and determined child to open.
  7. Know what to do in case of a poisoning.
  8. Don’t wait to see if the child appears sick. Have the phone number for the nearest Poison Center, and post it near the telephone.
  9. Ipecac syrup and activated charcoal are sometimes used as treatments for poisonings. They can be bought at the pharmacy without a prescription. Keep them in your first aid kit, but don’t given them to a child unless someone at a Poison Center tells you to.
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