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Tips from the Poison Specialists


Tips from a Poison Specialist


TIP #1

Keep products in their original containers.

People may think it is obvious not to put non-food items in food containers, but it happens. I’ve had a call about a child who drank blue windshield washer fluid that was placed in a Gatorade bottle. The child was helping his father in the garage and drank it thinking it was juice. It is also common to have husbands or wives drink bleach that their partner poured into a glass. It looks like water. The glass may have been a convenient storage place at the time, but that’s not a good idea.

TIP #2

If you are organizing your pills for the next day, I highly recommend you use a pill organizer and NOT an empty prescription bottle.

I remember an individual who called into the poison center and reported that her husband had done his usual routine of putting all of his different pills in an empty prescription bottle for the next day. The next morning, her husband reached for this bottle but mistakenly grabbed the one next to it. The one he grabbed contained 20 to 30 tablets of his blood pressure medication instead. This kind of thing happens more than you realize.


TIP #3

Want a QUICK, SAFE, NON-TOXIC way to get ink and dye off of skin? One of my favorites is rubbing some baby oil or mineral oil onto places on skin that have ink or dye and allowing it to sit for 15 or 20 minutes. After the wait, wash well with soap and water and the color is usually gone.


TIP #4

If you don’t use it, don’t keep it in the house. If a medicine or cleaning product isn’t in the house, your child can’t eat it.

If we aren’t using it, we forget about it. This also means we forget to make sure it is stored properly to keep it out of a child’s reach.

TIP #5

The best way to poison-proof your house is to not have the most toxic chemicals in the house.

Do you really need that liquid furniture polish? Do you really need that caustic oven cleaner?

While you are still pregnant, go through the house and take stock of your cleaning supplies. Remove the most harmful products and check into replacing with safer options. For example, furniture polish in a spray can is safer than liquid in a bottle. Non-caustic oven cleaners and drain cleaners work well and can replace oven and drain cleaners containing sodium hydroxide.