about 91,000 children suffer from accidental poisonings. While the majority of these
cases are not fatal, they are avoidable. Knowing basic types of household
poisons, and where they can be found in your home, is the first step to poison
Start by becoming
familiar with different products in your home, as poisons may be hard to detect
and come in a variety of forms. Focus on child-proofing key places that contain
toxic materials. It’s easier to do than you might think.
of National Poison Prevention Week, March 15-21, First 5 Solano provides the
following information to raise awareness and to provide resources about this
Comes in Many Forms
To help you
determine the types of poisons present in your own home, the following list
includes four primary forms of poisons and provides some examples of each.
·Liquid. Liquid medications and cleaning
supplies such as bleach and laundry detergent are harmful if a child swallows
·Solid. Medications in pill form can be
toxic if a child swallows or chews them. Other common household items, such as
soap, are hazardous to children if eaten.
·Spray. Many cleaning products such as
all-purpose cleaners come in spray bottles. Perfumes and pesticides can also be
dangerous to a child.
·Invisible. Lead and carbon monoxide are
examples of invisible poisons that are common health hazards. Lead is found in
dust from lead-based paint as well as in some toys. Carbon monoxide is emitted
from cars, gas ovens and space heaters. To help reduce these poisons, make sure
your home always gets enough fresh air. Also, consider installing a low-cost
carbon monoxide detector that signals when levels are too high.
Zones in Your Home
your child against potential poisoning, start by focusing on a few important
rooms in your home. Remember that most items are best kept out of sight and
reach of your child.
·Kitchen/Laundry Room. Keep household cleaners like
dishwasher soap, detergent and oven cleaners in a cabinet with child-proof
locks. If you store them in a cupboard, make sure they are high enough that
children cannot reach them.
·Bathroom. Cabinets and drawers may contain
products like medication, vitamins, hair products, rubbing alcohol, and even
nail polish that can be dangerous to children. Put them in the medicine cabinet
only if it is out of reach. Otherwise, lock them in a cabinet or drawer.
·Bedroom. Clear nightstand of medications or
creams. Be cautious of where you leave your purse since it may contain many
items that can be harmful to children if eaten, including cosmetics, lotions,
medications, and cigarettes. Also, be aware of your child’s toys since some may
contain lead as well.
·Garden. Many household and outdoor plants as
well as fertilizer and pesticides can be poisonous. Keep plants above reach,
and teach your child not to put plants in his or her mouth. Always look for
plants that are not harmful like herbs, jasmine or roses. And after applying
fertilizer, water and dry the lawn completely before letting your child play on
the grass. Don’t forget to always wash your hands after gardening.
·Walls. Some older houses are painted with
lead-based paint. Children may breathe the dust from this paint or swallow
small flakes of paint. Test your home for lead to ensure your child is safe.
Available to Help
resources nearby to help in the event of an accidental poisoning.
·California Poison Action Line. If a child is not breathing after
ingesting poison, call 911. If the child is alert, call the California Poison
Action Line at 1-800-222-1222. Have as much information as possible available,
like the name of the product and time of poisoning.
·Kit for New Parents. This free resource, a $75 value,
includes instructional DVDs, guide books and helpful brochures with parenting
information, advice and useful tips. The Kit
also includes the California Poison Action hotline telephone number on a magnet
to keep on the refrigerator door. To get your Kit, call 1-800-KIDS-025 or contact First 5 Solano.
·Environmental Protection Agency. To learn about how to test your home
for lead, call 1-800-424-LEAD or visit www.epa.gov/lead.
·U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
1-800-638-2772 or visit www.cpsc.gov to get a list of toys that have been
recalled due to lead and other hazards.