Keep your loved ones safe from an accidental poisoning.
A skull and crossbones on a pesticide box is a good indication that what's inside is deadly. But a poison, which can lead to severe unintentional injury or death, might not always come in the form you expect. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) say that many substances can be poisonous if a person takes too much of them. Especially dangerous are prescription drugs, which account for more than 90 percent of accidental poisoning deaths.
March 17 starts National Poison Prevention Week, so it’s a good time to review some ways to poison-proof your home, especially if you have kids. Here are some tips from the CDC and the Environmental Protection Agency:
- Read the labels of cleaning products and other chemicals to be sure you follow the instructions for proper use.
Store chemicals in locked cabinets or on high shelves that kids can’t reach. Some of the substances to store this way include:
- cleaning products
- Store prescription medicine in locked cabinets or on high shelves.
- Get rid of medicines that are expired or you no longer need. To safely dispose of them follow these federal guidelines.
- Don’t store cleaning products where you store food. Someone could mistake a chemical for a food product.
- Keep laundry detergents and cleaning products in their original containers. The labels usually have information for addressing accidental poisonings.
- Install a carbon monoxide detector, and regularly replace the batteries, if required.
- Don’t mix household chemicals. The combining of certain chemical can create dangerous fumes.
- Open a window or turn on a vent when using household cleaners indoors.
- And here’s one tip for pet owners: Dogs and cats are at risk of poisoning too, so immediately clean up any chemical spills outside, especially anti-freeze.
Don’t let an accidental poisoning force you to the emergency room. If you need emergency care, our Emergency Care locations are ready. If you have a non-emergency question regarding poisons, call Consult A Nurse® at 1-866-442-2362.