Over 30,000 children each year die from accidental poisoning caused by common consumer products found in the home. That is a very disturbing number, considering that child poisoning is 100% preventable.
Nevertheless, everyone knows that accidents can happen. Here are some tips to help you limit the risk of a child being poisoned in your home, along with advice on how to handle an accidental poisoning should one occur.
Keep Poisons Stored Properly
When you think of poisons, cleaning products, medications, and nutritional supplements certainly aren’t the first things to come to mind. Even so, these simple products in the hands and mouth of a child could cause more harm than you ever thought possible.
Make sure to store all medications, cleaning products, and any obvious poisons, such as bug spray or rat poison, out of your child’s reach. Childproof any drawers or cabinet doors that you store these products in to ensure that your child cannot easily get to them.
Types of Poisoning
Inhaled Poison – If for some reason your child inhales poisonous fumes inside of your home, immediately take him or her outside to get fresh air. If your child stops breathing, you must perform CPR until he or she starts breathing on their own. Make sure to open all doors and windows of your home so that it can air out properly.
Swallowed Poison – Should your child swallow a poisonous substance, do not panic! In the past, parents were instructed to give their children ipecac syrup to force their child to vomit after swallowing a poison; however, the American Academy of Pediatrics now advises parents not to do this.
Instead, you should immediately contact the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 for further instructions. They will ask you basic information about your child such as his/her age, weight, and they will ask what type of poison your child ingested.
Try to have the container of whatever poison that your child swallowed in-hand when you call, as this will make it easier for the poison control center to come up with a solution. They may or may not instruct you to take your child to the hospital. If they do, remember to take the bottle of the poisonous substance with you when you go.
Skin Poison – Certain chemicals and even plants can cause a child to have a bad skin reaction when touched. Common signs of skin poisoning are: blisters, redness, swelling, and itching. If you notice any of these symptoms, remove your child’s clothing and rinse their skin in warm water for at least 15 minutes.
Eye Poison – If your child gets anything in their eyes that should not have gotten in there, you must flush it out immediately. Open up your child’s eyelid and pour a steady stream of water into the inner corner of the affected eye. Make sure the water you use is of room temperature and not hot water.
You must keep in mind that child-poisoning dangers exist everywhere. When you are on vacation or visiting friends or family, make sure that you keep a close eye on your child. While you may have done all that you can in your own home to poison-proof it, others may have not.