Despite many health warnings and safety precautions, unintentional poisoning in children continues to be a problem. Every now and then, you can hear sad reports of the unfortunate loss of a child due to ingestion of poison. In a recent study, the Poison Control Centers noted that around 40 percent of the 2.5 million poison exposure cases involve children under 5 years old. Increasing the awareness of parents and caregivers about how to prevent these emergencies is essential. Childcare first aid and CPR training can be helpful to be able to handle poisoning incidents to infants or children in or outside your home.
Preventing accidental poising due to medications and household products
- Do not leave poisonous products, such as cleaners, liquid soap, pesticides, and automotive products, unattended while in use. Accidental poisoning most commonly occur when adults are distracted while using poisonous household products.
- Check your handbag for possible poisons, such as alcohol, hand sanitizers and medication. Make sure to keep your handbags out of children’s reach.
- Invest in using child-resistant packages and containers. This especially true when storing very strong and corrosive chemicals.
- Make sure to keep all poisonous items in safe storage such as cabinets with safety locks.
- Do not allow children to use poisonous household items.
- Never transfer chemicals into empty food or beverage containers.
- Read container or product labels to know if they contain poisons. Usually, products that are poisonous contain warnings. They would also include information about the antidote in case of poisoning.
- Never mix cleaning products.
- Make sure to keep products in their original containers.
Preventing accidental poising due to carbon monoxide poisoning
- Invest in a good carbon monoxide detector or alarm system. Make sure to put detectors at every level of the house.
- Regularly check your carbon monoxide alarms. Change batteries every six months, if necessary.
- Never leave a child inside a closed car or any enclosed space.
Preventing accidental poising due to lead poisoning
- Have an expert check your home for possible lead contamination. Homes built before the 80’s are most likely to have lead.
- In case lead has been identified, consult your healthcare provider and have the child tested for lead.
- If certain parts of the house had been tested positive for lead, do not allow children to come close to it. Have it immediately cleaned up by professionals, if possible.
- Keep children away from chewable surfaces with and peeling paint with lead-based paint.
Preventing accidental poising due to foods and food products
- Make sure to practice good hygiene and sanitation when preparing foods.
- Do not serve foods to children if you are unsure about their condition.
- Do not let children take too much of anything. Practice moderation.
Call for emergency first aid and CPR provider if symptoms persist. Cases of poisoning can be prevented or minimized by following these tips. However, parents and caregivers should also know how to manage and deal with accidental poisoning should they occur. To learn more about first aid for poisoning, you can contact your local workplace approved chapter for available schedule.