As your child explores around the house they can find their way into household items that may be dangerous. Follow these safety tips to reduce the risk of your child touching or eating poisonous products:
- Store products out of your child’s sight and reach, and use safety locks on cabinets within reach. Children are often eye-level with items under the kitchen and bathroom sinks. Any poisonous items that are kept in lower cabinets should be stored somewhere else.
- Don’t leave poisonous products unattended while using them. Many accidents happen when adults are distracted for just a few moments.
- Keep cleaning products in their original containers. Never put a poisonous product in something other than its original container, such as a plastic soda bottle, where it could be mistaken for something else.
- Throwaway unused cleaning products and other potential poisons. Check your garage, basement and other storage areas for supplies you no longer need and can throw away.
- Read product labels to find out what can be dangerous to children. Dangerous household items can include makeup, medicine, personal care products, plants, pesticides, art supplies, alcohol, bleach, and other cleaning supplies.
Be prepared for a poison emergency
Make sure the toll-free number for the Poison Control Center is in your home and cell phone. Also post it near your phone or on your refrigerator for the babysitter and other adults to use in case of an emergency.
Store all medicines away and out of sight in a cabinet where your child cannot reach them.
When you are taking, or giving medicines:
- Do not put your next dose on the counter or on the table where your child can reach them, it only takes seconds for a child to get them.
- If you have to do something else while taking medicine, such as answer the phone, put the medicine out of reach.
- Secure the child safety cap completely every time you use a medicine.
- Put medicines away as soon as you are done with them.
- Make sure your child cannot get into medicines stored in purses, backpacks, or coat pockets of your own or guests who are visiting your home.
- Lastly, remember to safely throwaway old medicines.
Q & A
Q: I have a lot of household cleaning products that I do not need anymore. How can I safely get rid of them?
A: The best way to deal with unused cleaning products is to give them away. Most people need things like dishwasher detergent surface cleaners and bleach, so find friends or neighbors and offer them your cleaners. And make sure the products are in their original containers.
Can’t find anyone who wants your household cleaners? In this case, you can dispose of the products. But be sure to read the label to see if there are any specific instructions for disposal. Oftentimes you can think about how you typically use the product to help you make the best disposal choice. For example, if you have extra laundry detergent or a liquid disinfectant, it’s safe to pour it down the drain with running water.
Once you’ve disposed of your extra cleaning products, be sure to recycle the containers.
Most household cleaning products come in containers made of plastic or glass, as well as cardboard boxes that can be recycled.