Poison can be simply defined as a substance that causes injury, illness or death when introduced into the human body or absorbed by an organism. Poisoning can occur via inhalation, absorption through the skin, ingestion through the mouth, or injection into the blood stream. Most poisonings are accidental and often occur as a result of ingestion of drugs, chemicals or exposure to harmful substances.
Unintentional poisoning is one of the leading causes of injury to children. Children, especially those less than five years old, are major victims of accidental poisonings because they are naturally curious, are often attracted to bright and shiny objects, and have a high tendency to put things in their mouths first. Poisoning is a preventable injury and we have a few tips to help you ensure that you’re doing the best you can to keep your children safe.
1. Store all medications–both non-prescription and prescription–in a designated cabinet with child proof lock, far out of the reach of children.
2. Never refer to your child’s medications as ‘candy’ or ‘juice’; they might end up taking an overdose in your absence. It is also safer to avoid taking medications in front of them so they do not copy your actions.
3. Ensure that you administer the right dose of all medications and when you are unsure, call your doctor to confirm before giving the drugs. 4. Clean out the medicine cabinet periodically and safely dispose of unneeded and outdated medicines.
5. Ask guests to keep any purse, bag or coat containing medication away and out of sight while they are in your home.
6. Store cleaning supplies, insecticides, bleach, liquid detergent, mouthwash, cologne, perfume, hairspray, and other chemical agents clearly marked as poisonous, out of reach.
7. When the products mentioned above are in use, never let your child out of sight, even if it means taking the child or the product along when you have to pick a phone call or answer the door.
8. Leave all chemicals in their original containers and do not use similar containers for storage of water or juice for the kids. Likewise, do not use old juice or milk bottles to store chemicals.
9. Lamp oil can be very toxic if ingested by children, so do not put decorative lamps and candles that contain lamp oil where children can reach them.
10. Households with children should never use loose bait, loose pellet rodent control products, laundry pods or other such materials that are easy to pick up and ingest.