By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– Take a look around your house; in the medicine cabinet, under the kitchen sink, in the garage. How many poisonous items did you find? And what kind? Probably a lot more than you realize.
March 15-21 is National Poison Prevention Week
Take this time to go through your home and check for any hazardous items that can poison yourself, your family, or your pets. The most common household poisonous items are medications, cosmetics and cleaning supplies.
More than 2 million poisonings are reported annually, and 90% of poisonings occur at home. Most non-fatal poisonings occur in children under 6 years old. On average a poison exposure happens every 14 seconds. In 2013, America’s 55 poison centers received over 3.1 million calls.
If medications are kept in your purse or briefcase, be sure to keep them out of reach from children. Make sure that all medications, including vitamins, are stored out of reach and out of sight of children. Don’t leave medications on the counters, kids are curious and will want to know what it is. If you need to take medication, try to do it out of view of children, they tend to imitate adults around them. And NEVER refer to medications as candy!
Young kids are often eye-level with items under the kitchen and bathroom sinks. So any bleach, detergents, dishwasher liquid or cleaning solutions that are kept there should find a new storage location. Install child safety locks on cabinets where you have stored poisonous items. It only takes a few minutes, and it gives you one less thing to worry about.
A few more ways to avoid a poisoning at home:
- Always use child-resistant packaging and remember to replace the caps tightly.
- If using cleaning products or other possibly harmful products and you need to step away, take the product with you.
- Keep products in their original packages to avoid confusion.
- Check homes built before 1978 for lead-based paint. If lead hazards are identified, test your child for lead exposure and hire a professional to control and remove lead sources safely.
These same tips are also true for our non-human family members. Pets are just as curious as children and just as likely to get into unattended household poisons. Depending on what type of pet you have, check www.ASPCA.org to find out what human foods can also be poisonous.
If you suspect your child has been poisoned, call poison control at 800-222-1222. If your child has collapsed or is not breathing, call 911.
To learn how to properly dispose of household generated chemicals, cleaning supplies, paint, and even sharps (such as needles), and more, visit a Household Hazardous Waste site near you or you can find more information at www.sbcfire.org or call 1-800-OILY-CAT (800-645-9228).
To learn more about how to avoid household poisonings, visit www.sbcfire.org.