(RxWiki News) Our homes are filled with helpful things: medications, cleaners, hygiene products, jewelry and batteries. These items are helpful for adults, but they can be dangerous for children.
That's because many items — even some you might not expect — can be poisonous. According to Poison Control, these are the most common types of poison exposures in children under the age of 6.
- Cosmetics and personal care products
- Cleaning substances and laundry products
- Prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications
- Dietary supplements/herbals/homeopathic products
- Foreign bodies (toys and toy parts, toothpicks, twist-ties, golf ball covers, pins, jewelry, plastic bits, hardware, medical equipment and thermometers. And lots of coins. In fact, one recent study reported coins made up 80 percent of swallowed objects that require surgery.)
- Topical preparations like rash creams, lotions and sprays
- Tobacco, nicotine, electronic cigarette products
- Plants (for a list of poisonous plants, refer to Poison Control's list.
Children will grab anything within their reach, and anything in their hand will go into their mouth. This is because children explore their world by touch and taste.
And it's a huge driver behind poison exposures in children.
The following are some general tips to prevent poisoning in kids:
- Keep chemicals, cleaning products (especially laundry and dishwasher pods), medicine and batteries out of sight. (Locking them is better than simply hiding them.)
- Keep medications in their original containers.
- Always read the label for instructions.
- Avoid transferring contents from original containers. Some of the most serious poisonings happen when toxic products are poured into food or beverage containers.
- Use child-resistant packaging.
If you believe your child has gotten into any of the above items:
Check the scene and the individual for any clues as to the type of poison. Look for any containers and take them with you to the phone when you call Poison Control.
- Contact the National Poison Control Center at (800) 222-1222.
- Use webPoisonControl for specific recommendations. Answer a few questions to receive the best course of action.
- Contact 911 immediately in a life-threatening situation.