The HomeSafe campaign’s goal is to inform families and safeguard children from potential hazards including poison control. Across the United States, 80,000 children are taken to emergency rooms each year due to accidental poisonings involving household cleaning products1. We suggest having an “off-limits” talk with your child regarding fire safety, however it is important to also discuss other items included in this list.

Some potentially precarious substances to discuss:

  • cleaning solutions
  • vitamins
  • pesticides
  • plants
  • lead
  • alcohol
  • prescription medications

Store and Dose

Approximately 9 out of 10 unintentional child poisonings occur in the home2. For this reason, install safety locks on all cabinets containing poisonous substances. Medication and vitamins are an essential part of daily life, keeping us healthy and well. While it might be tempting to leave a pill container out on the bedside table (especially if it is a daily routine) it is vital to put medications away every single time. A child who sees brightly colored pills or vitamins out of their containers could easily mistake them for candy.

800px-Lexapro_pills

If your child needs to take any kind of medication while home alone, make sure to have a talk with him or her about dosage times and proper measurements. Keep cleaning products in their original bottles. Your child is more likely to recognize that glass cleaning solution is not for consumption if it is left in its original container rather than having an inviting blue liquid in an unmarked jar.

With help from these tips and facts collected by HomeSafe, hopefully your child will never have to face a dangerous situation while home alone. Keep the nationwide poison control hotline (1-800-222-1222) visible along with our emergency contact template. This number can be called twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. A parent can never teach their child to be too careful!


Sources:

  1. Consumer Product Safety Commission, www.cpsc.gov
  2. News from CPSC, March 18, 2009. U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Website. Available from: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09159.html. Accessed: October 12, 2011.