Poison In Your Home
Poisoning was the third leading cause of accidental death in the United States in 1997. The majority of these deaths are children. Children swallow pills, household cleaners, insecticides, paints, plants and other products around the home. There are dangers for children in each room of the house. Most accidental poisonings involve children under 6 years of age and occur in the home. Products around the home are responsible for the largest category of accidental poisonings among children. These items are often attractive to children because of their color and scent. It is important to know how these incidents can be prevented as well as what to do if an accidental poisoning occurs.
HOW CAN YOU PREVENT POISONINGS?
- Store all drugs and other products in their original package, jar or bottle.
- Never put products other than food in food containers.
- After use of any drug or chemical, put the cap back on and store the product out of reach and out of sight of children.
- Never call medicine candy.
- Use products with safety caps.
- Read and follow label directions on all products before using them.
- Keep the phone number of the West Virginia Poison Center on or near your telephone.
WHAT TO DO IF A POISONING OCCURS:
- Remain calm.
- Call the West Virginia Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 or your physician. Have the following information ready:
- Age and weight of patient
- Your name and phone number
- Name of products and contents
- Amount involved
- Time poisoning occurred
- Any symptoms
IS YOUR HOME SAFE?
If it's not someone may get hurt. Go through each room described with this checklist to make sure all potential poisons are properly closed and stored out of reach of small children and pets.
POISON-PROOFING YOUR KITCHEN
- Do all harmful products (e.g. drain cleaners, bug spray, oven cleaners, detergens/soaps) in the cabinet have child safety caps?
- Are all harmful products in their original package? Never store unsafe chemicals in food bottles, jars, etc.
- Keep harmful products stored away from food.
- Have all harmful products been put up high and out of reach of children. Lock all cabinets that hold unsafe products is the best poison prevention.
- Install child safety latches on all drawers or cabinets containing harmful products.
- Keep emergency phone numbers near the phone. Place the West Virginia Poison Control Center phone sticker on your phone. Also, make sure your name, address and phone number available in case a babysitter has to call.
POISON-PROOFING YOUR BATHROOM
- Do your medicines and other harmful products have child safety caps? Aspirin and most drugs prescribed by your doctor come with child safety caps. Check to see that your have them.
- Dispose of all out of date drugs. Flush all old drugs down the toilet. Rinse the bottle well, then throw it away.
- Give medicine only to the person for whom it was prescribed. Drugs that work for one person may harm another.
- Are all drugs in their original package, with the original labels? Many tablets and capsules look alike. If they are not in the correct package, you can't be sure of what you are taking.
- Keep sprays, cosmetics, fingernail preparations, hair care products, etc., out of reach of children.
- Install child safety latches on all drawers or cabinets that contain harmful products.
POISON-PROOFING YOUR GARAGE
- Almost all things in your garage or storeroom that can be swallowed may be harmful or deadly. Do these products have child safety caps?
- Are items in the garage stored in original packages with the original labels?
- Have you made sure that no poisons are stored in drinking glasses or pop bottles?
- Products such as insect spray, weed killer, gasoline, other car products paints, turpentine should all be stored in locked areas.
POISON-PROOFING YOUR BEDROOM
- Remove medicines from bed side tables and dressers.
- Are perfumes, cosmetics, powders, and sachets out of reach of children?
POISON-PROOFING YOUR LAUNDRY ROOM
- All bleaches, soaps, detergents, fabric softeners, bluing agents, and sprays should be kept out of reach of children.
- All products should be in original containers.
EMERGENCY ACTION FOR POISONING
If the victim is unconscious or having seizures call 911 immediately!
Get the person to fresh air. Avoid breathing fumes. Open doors and windows wide. If victim is not breathing, start mouth to mouth resuscitation.
POISON ON THE SKIN
Remove exposed clothing and flood skin with water for 10 minutes. Then wash gently with soap and water and rinse.
POISON IN THE EYE
Flood the eye with lukewarm (not hot) water poured from a large glass 2 or 3 inches from the eye. Repeat for 15 minutes. Have patient blink as much as possible while flooding the eye. Do not force the eyelid open.
MEDICINE AND HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS: Unless victim is passed out, having seizures, or cannot swallow give milk or water, then call the Poison Center for advice about whether or not you should make the victim vomit.
AFTER THESE ACTIONS CALL THE POISON CENTER!