Thursday, April 05, 2007

Danger Within Reach

Simple knowledge of household poisons could save lives.
-from the Daily Herald, Monday, March 26, 2007
I would add: simply switching brands could save lives
Most Americans have cosmetics, cleansers, personal care products, plants, pesticides, art supplies, alcohol or toys in their homes. Yet many may not be aware that these common items are the cause of 91,000 accidental poisonings among children each year.
What can you do to keep your children safe? Here are some tips from Safe Kids Worldwide.
  • Don't refer to medicine or vitamins as candy to children
  • Do not flush expired medications down the toilet. They can contaminate soil & groundwater. Most pharmacists will dispose of old medication.
  • Discuss these precautions with grandparents and relatives who may have medications that can harm children
  • Get your home tested for lead. An estimated 890,000 children ages 1 to 5 have too much lead in their blood.
  • Install a carbon monoxide detector in every sleeping area (it's the law in Illinois now).
  • Stay alert while using cleaning products or other potentially harmful substances. A child can be poisoned in a matter of seconds.
  • Never leave children alone with an open container of something you wouldn't want them to ingest.
  • Learn which household plants are poisonous and keep them out of reach of children.
Did you know:
91,000 - children ages 14 and younger are treated in emergency rooms for accidental poisoning each year.
100 - approximate number of children who die from accidental poisoning.
90 - percent of these toxic exposures occur in the home.
40 - percent of the time, these poisonings involve medications.
Poison Control's toll free number is: 800.222.1222.
But, if your child is choking, having trouble breathing, or having a seizure, call 911.
I would add - your home does not have to be a toxic place! Just by switching brands for cleaners, personal care products, makeup, skin care and vitamins, you can greatly reduce the risk of accidental poisoning in your home.

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