Where do you store your medicine, cleaning supplies, or items such as bug spray? If you are like most of us, you may have said in a cabinet or under the sink. Storing items such as these may not seem to be a big deal, however, incorrectly storing these items could put your children at serious risk for accidental poisoning. It only takes a bit of time and effort to drastically decrease the chances of this happening.
Let’s take a look at a few statistics according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers.
- 91% of poisonings take place at home.
- Poisoning is the leading cause of injury-related death in America.
- The exposure to cleaning products we typically store within the home is the second leading cause of poisoning in children.
Although these thoughts and numbers may pose as fear-invoking, you can easily make changes to where you store potentially harmful items. Storing harmful items in areas that are out of reach to children can lower the risk of poisoning. There is a common misconception that “storing” the medicines you may not take on a regular basis is enough, but it is important to do the same with medicines you take frequently. Let’s go over simple, yet effective ways to protect your children from accidental poisonings.
- Keep all medicine out of the sight or access of children, even if it is something you take daily. Children are inquisitive and will get into items such as medications if it is within their reach.
- Child-proof areas that you may store your cleaning supplies, or medications. Items such as safety cabinet locks can prevent children from gaining access to these items or try storing them out of sight and out of reach.
- Buy items with child-resistant packaging when you can. If medication bottles or cleaning supplies are not child-resistant, it is crucial to store these items both out of sight and out of access.
- Use alarms to keep track of medication intake. Instead of leaving medications on counters or surfaces that children can get to, set alarms to remind yourself when to take the medication.
- Keep and list the Poison Help number in your phone and home for yourself and caregivers: 1-800-222-1222. There are 24-hour services provided to help you with poison related questions, emergencies, and overall medicine safety.
It may not be possible to entirely eliminate the chance of accidental poisoning, but it is possible to take steps to decrease the risk of this happening. Being more aware and taking preventative steps to eliminate access to medications or cleaning supplies can heighten your child’s at home safety. Take a look at these links for more resources on this topic.