Each year, nearly 1 million children under the age of 5 are exposed to potentially poisonous medicines and household chemicals. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reminds parents that some of the most frequent causes of unintentional poisoning among children are medicines and household substances.
Medicines are often swallowed by young children who find them where their parents or grandparents have left them — in a purse, on a nightstand or in an easily accessible pill container. All adults should use child-resistant packages wherever young children live or visit. If child-resistant packaging is not an option, keep medicines in a locked container, out of reach and sight of children.
Read the labels before using any household product and follow the directions carefully. Store household products in cabinets with child safety locks.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission identified these items as some of the most frequent causes of unintentional poisoning among children:
- Pain relievers
- Cough and cold suppressants
- Iron-containing vitamins
- Food supplements
- Personal care products
- Insect repellants
- Paint solvents
- Lighter fluids
Follow these tips to help ensure children do not have access to potentially poisonous materials:
Keep all products in original containers. Never put kerosene, antifreeze, bleach, paints or solvents in cups, glasses, soft drink bottles or other containers used for food and drinks. Also, never transfer dangerous products to a bottle without a child-resistant closure.
Keep foods and household products separate. Cleaning fluids, detergents, lye, soap powders, insecticides and other everyday household products should be stored away from food and medications.
Never call flavored medicine “candy.” When left alone, children may look for and find the bottle and eat or drink its contents.
For more information regarding poisoning prevention, visit www.cpsc.gov.