is National Safety Month. It is important to check our homes
and take steps to make homes safe. As consumers, we buy more
than a quarter of a million different household products that
are used in and around the home for medication, cleaning,
cosmetic purposes, exterminating insects, and killing weeds.
These items are valuable in the home and for yard maintenance,
but misuse, especially when products are used in inappropriate
applications or quantities, can cause illness, injury and
year more than 6,000 people die and an estimated 300,000 suffer
disabling illnesses as a result of unintentional poisoning
by solid and liquid substances. Unintentional poisonings can
happen to anyone, at any time, in any situation.
unintentional poisonings, however, can be prevented. While
child-resistant packaging has greatly reduced the number of
fatalities among children under five years of age, parents,
grandparents, and other caregivers must still be cautious.
Following label directions for all products, including medication
dosages, and proper storage of potentially toxic products
are important precautions to heed.
can keep yourself and family members safer by being aware
of potential hazards and observing these suggestions from
the National Safety Council on ways to poison-proof your home.
Have a "child-proof" cabinet that locks.
Use child-resistant caps and keep medication lids tightly
Some toilet bowl cleansers are dangerously caustic and capable
of burning tissue if ingested.
Mothballs and crystals should be hung in containers.
Keep personal care items are such as hair spray, cologne,
perfumes, nail polish remover, nail glue remover, and astringents
where children can't get into them.
Children may be exposed to different lead sources in your
home. Small children may chew on window sills, eat paint chips,
or suck on their hands or toys, exposing themselves to lead
dust. Lead poisoning can cause serious medical problems, especially
in young children. Be sure your home is lead safe.
Check under the sink and in cabinets. Look for stored products
that could be hazardous when accessible to young children.
These could include such items as bleaching agents, rust removers,
drain cleaners, ammonia, oven cleaners, detergents, furniture
polish, floor wax, metal polish, wax remover, and wall/floor/toilet
Cleaning compounds and foods should never be stored together.
Keep all substances in their original containers.
Keep potentially hazardous cleaning compounds capped. Do not
leave an uncapped contaner unattended even "just a minute"
if toddlers are present.
Keep the number of your local poison control center, 800-955-9119,
(or national toll-free number, 800-222-1222) or family doctor
posted near the telephone. Have the original container and
its label when you call.
Keep syrup of ipecac available but use only when instructed
to by a doctor or poison control center.
Use safety latches or combination locks to prevent curious
children from getting into cabinets and drawers.
Throw out unneeded or expired medicines.
for Older Adults
If one type of child-restraint closure is difficult to use,
ask your pharmacist for a different kind.
Consider a dedicated medicine storage area.
are Susceptible, Too!
anti-freeze tastes sweet to dogs and cats - clean up spills
and leaks immediately and store carefully.
Dont spray or store cleaning or pesticide products near
pet food or water dishes.
Make sure animals can't get at bait products while they are
Dont forget about wildlife. Spraying products on a windy
day can carry the product into the water supply for wild animals.
a few minutes and check your home for items that may make
it unsafe and correct them.