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The Top 10 Ways to Prevent Child Poisoning

Aug 18, 2007
A large number of accidental poisonings each year involve children under 5.

Children under 5 are constantly exploring and investigating the world around them and things they can see and reach, they often put in their mouths. When they are crawling, they can usually reach anything at their own height. Once they start to walk, they can climb up onto tables, beds, and kitchen benches and access cupboards, including the medicine cupboard.

Using child-resistant packaging is good, but often children are poisoned with household cleaning products and solvents. Whenever you visit a friend's house remember they may not have children [or young children], so their house may not be prepared for poison prevention. Child-resistant packaging does not guarantee ALL children could not get access into the container, so keep all poisonous substances locked up.

Because children are so inquisitive and combined with their ingenuity, any medicines or chemicals being used should not be left unattended as children can quickly swallow some of it while an adult is answering the phone or the doorbell.

Remember:

* Poisonings have occurred when children have visited homes where no children live.

* Poisonings have occurred when older persons carried medicines into homes with young children

How to prevent accidental poisonings

If you follow the guidelines below, you can minimize the risk of accidental poising to children:

1. Go through your house at the same level as your children, and identify any potentially poisonous substance, and move it to a secure area such as a locked cupboard or cabinet.

2. Always purchase child-resistant packaging and use it properly by closing the container after use.

3. Keep all chemicals and medicines locked and out of sight.

4. When using potentially poisonous substances [such as cleaning products], never let your children out of your sight, and take the products with you if you need to answer the phone or the doorbell.

5. Keep all substances in their original containers.

6. Leave the original labels on all products and read the label before using.

7. Avoid taking medicine in front of children, and always refer to it as 'medicine' and not 'candy'.

8. Regularly clean out the medicine cabinet and safely dispose of all outdated or unneeded medicines when the illness for which they were prescribed is over.

9. Find out and keep a list of all the plants in your house and growing around your house in case your child accidentally eats them.

10. Ensure you have the number of the poisons centre on every phone.

When you ring the poison control center or other emergency personnel, be prepared to give the following information:

* Child's age
* Child's weight
* Any existing health conditions or problems
* The substances they have come in contact with and how [such as swallowed, inhaled, absorbed through the skin or splashed in their eyes] and how long ago
* Any first aid given
* Did they vomit
* Your location and any helpful directions to find it, and how far you are from hospital
About the Author
Steve Nickson has a website with more information on parenting, child safety, and cute, unusual, baby names at Unique Baby Names
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