Poison Prevention: Keeping Your Home Safe
As a way to help raise awareness of the risk of being poisoned by medicines, household products and fumes, National Poison Prevention Week is being observed the week of March 18. More than 90% of human exposures reported to poison centers in 2017 occurred at a residence. Therefore, being aware of what is considered dangerous in your home can help prevent poisoning.
Follow these simple steps to help make your home as poison-proof as possible:
- Put all medications in your home in safe locations that are away and out of sight from children. This includes over-the-counter and prescription medications, vitamins and supplements. Safely dispose of expired or unneeded medication. Although you should make sure all medications are in child-resistant packaging, it’s important to remember that nothing is truly child-proof.
- Install and check carbon monoxide detectors in your home. Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas that can lead to severe illness and even death. Most carbon monoxide exposures occur during the winter months or during power outages. Change batteries when the time changes in the spring and fall.
- Be aware of small items that children can swallow, such as batteries, buttons, toys and game pieces. Keep small ingestible objects off the floor and out of reach for babies and toddlers.
- Make sure all cleaning and laundry products are stored in their original containers and stored in locations that are hard to reach for children. Label each product with the word “Caution” if possible.
- Keep all oil or lubricants, such as engine oil, fragrance oils, personal care products and hand sanitizers, in their original containers and store them in a safe area.
If you suspect you or a loved one has been poisoned by any items in your home, you should immediately call the
Poison Help Line at 1-800-222-1222
. You can also text “POISON” to 797979 to save the number in your mobile phone. Calls are free, confidential and answered by experts 24 hours a day, seven days a week.