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How to Safeguard Against Poisonings in Your Home

Though we imagine home as a safe place, household dangers are often overlooked. With easy-to-implement strategies, safeguarding for potential hazards makes poisonings less likely.

In 2018, approximately 1.9 million exposures to poison occurred in American homes and children under the age of 12 accounted for more than half of those exposures.

To prevent poisoning at home, consider the following tips: 

Practice safe storage habits

Hazardous products should be stored in child-resistant cabinets or containers. However, keep in mind that there is no such thing as a completely childproof lock or container, and there is no substitute for adult supervision and vigilance. The following substances should be kept up high and out of sight of children:

  • Medicines (prescription, over-the-counter, vitamins and herbal supplements
  • Products that contain alcohol, such as beverages, hand sanitizer, and screen cleaners
  • Tobacco and e-cigarette products, especially liquid nicotine
  • Laundry and cleaning supplies
  • Pesticides and insect repellants
  • Button batteries, including those found in singing greeting cards, key fobs, and remote controls
  • Personal care products, such as cosmetics, hair and nail care products, and contact lens solution
  • Other chemicals, such as antifreeze, windshield washer fluid, and lamp oil 

Detect invisible threats:Install carbon monoxide detectors in your home.  

Read and follow label instructions:Make a habit of reviewing labels on items prior to each use. Follow directions provided for usage as well as safe storage and disposal.

Be prepared for an emergency:If you have questions or suspect a poisoning, immediately call Poison Help at (800) 222-1222.  Be wary of information you find on the internet. Save time by always calling first! You can also text “POISON” to 797979 to save the number into your phone. Display the contact information for poison control throughout your home, daycare, and school.

All questions about poisonings are good questions. For more information, visit www.aapcc.org.

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