More than 1 million American children younger than 6 years old are poisoned every year. Children that young may try to sample items even if they taste bad. Some of the items could be cleaning supplies.
These steps can help reduce the risk of an accidental poisoning in your home:
- Store items like medicines, cleaners, paints and pesticides out of sight and reach of children. The best place is a locked cabinet.
- If you keep harmful products in cabinets a child can reach, put safety latches on the doors. Unsafe household products are bleach, oven cleaner, dishwasher products, art supplies and alcohol.
- When you're using a poisonous product, put it in a safe place before you answer the phone or the door.
- Buy medicines in child-resistant packaging and keep them in their original containers. Don't keep old medicines in your house; get rid of them. To learn how to safely throw away medicines, go to www.fda.gov and type "safe disposal of medicines" in the search box.
- Never refer to medicines as candy, and try not to take your medicine in front of small children they may try to mimic you later.
- Be aware of items in a handbag that could be poisonous, such as makeup and medicines. Store handbags out of kids' reach.
If you think a child may have been poisoned, call the nationwide poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If he or she is not breathing or has collapsed, call 911.