When it comes to our home we regard it as a safe place, but we fail to realize that our very home can be a dangerous place for our kids when it comes to accidental poisoning. The early years of a child are the highest risk-time for all kinds of injuries including poisoning. During this period not only is the child curious to explore his surroundings but has also an increasing tendency to put everything in his/her mouth. This could expose the child to some potentially dangerous products in the house which may include household products (such as insecticides/pesticides, turpentine oil, paints, glue, furniture polish, kerosene, petrol, spirit, cosmetic products and other household chemicals) or over-the-counter medicines (such as cough syrup, mouthwash, eyewash or any other prescription medicine).
Hence, it becomes imperative for new parents to be aware of situations and things that can lead to accidental poisoning in children. Here are some tips, which can help to prevent any such unpleasant event :
- Check every nook and corner of your house (especially bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchen) properly for any potentially poisonous products.
- Buy products with child resistant caps/child resistant packages.
- Always read the labels on the products properly and follow the instructions mentioned on it.
- On using or buying a poisonous product, immediately keep it away in a secure place.
- Always store these products in their original containers and not in any container/utensil used for food and drinks.
- Never leave or store the poisonous products at places that can be easily accessed by your child.
- Use a child-resistant lock on cabinets/cupboards storing such medicines, toiletries, pesticides etc.
- Always store products such as cleaning fluid, detergent, soap powder etc. separate from food products.
- Store medicines and dietary supplements separately from other household products.
- Do not keep any cleaning chemicals below the kitchen sink. Keep all the cabinets below the kitchen sink locked properly.
- If you keep any prescription medicine in your handbag, make sure it stays out of reach of your child. Always keep your medicines in child-resistant packages.
- In case the doorbell or the phone rings while you are using some potentially poisonous product, do not leave it behind. Never ever leave your child in the vicinity of any poisonous product.
- Do not throw away expired medicines in the dustbin. Dispose them off properly either by flushing them down the drain or toilet or rinsing the medicine bottle properly with water.
- Never make the mistake of calling flavored medicine a candy as the child may eat or drink it when alone.
- When giving some medicine to the child always switch on the light to avoid giving a wrong medicine or a large dose of the medicine.
- Children usually love to imitate elders; therefore it is better to avoid taking any medicine in their presence.
However, in case any episode of accidental poisoning does occur, consult your doctor immediately