children have home that's poison-proof
By Richard Harkness
Knight Ridder Newspapers
The recurring theme is
``Children act fast... so do poisons!''
Small children are apt to put
anything in their mouths, so keep household chemicals and
medicines locked up or put safely away at all times. Be
aware of this need during visits to the homes of
grandparents and others.
Kids also can be poisoned by
the willful sniffing or ``huffing'' of glue, paint, hair
spray, air freshener and other household products. These are
``accidental'' poisonings in the sense that kids may not
appreciate the perils, so it's critically important to
educate them. Learn more by calling The National Inhalant
Prevention Coalition at 800-269-4237 or visit
To help poison-proof your
home, follow these suggestions:
household products in original containers. Never put
preparations like kerosene, antifreeze, paints or solvents
in containers customarily used for food or drinks.
medications (prescription and OTC) in their original
child-resistant containers, and replace the safety caps
immediately after use. Kids have been known to thwart
child-resistant containers, so keep medicines away from
out your medicine cabinet periodically and safely dispose of
old or unneeded medicines.
foods and household products separated. Poisoning can be the
result of ``mistaken identity.''
certain that medicines and household products are put away
before leaving the room to answer the telephone or doorbell.
Remember that children can climb.
sure that all products are properly labeled. Read the label
turn the light on when giving or taking medicine.
imitate adults, so avoid taking medications in their
calling medicine candy.
a poisoning emergency, call toll-free 800-222-1222. This
24-hour number automatically connects with your regional
poison control center. Be prepared to provide:
child's age and weight.
existing health conditions.
substance involved and whether it was swallowed, inhaled,
absorbed through skin contact, or splashed into the eyes.
product label directions on what to do in such cases.
The unguided household use of
ipecac syrup (to induce vomiting) or activated charcoal (to
soak up an ingested substance) is no longer recommended.
Instead, follow the instructions given by the poison control
Though it's critical that you
know what to do when a child ingests a poisonous