COMMON RISKS TO KIDS
Many ordinary household items can be poisonous, from medicines and makeup to bug spray and cleaning products. They can tempt curious toddlers and young children who like to investigate things. “Most things in the house can be a potential hazard for kids, and even things you might not think about can be a danger to a small child,” says Dr. Lilit Minasyan. “It’s due to the natural curiosity of toddlers and small children. Kids are mobile and can get into things. They want to put everything in their mouths.”
Prevention measures at home are critical, notes Dr. Minasyan. “You don’t want to keep cleaners and things like that under the kitchen sink. Kids can get into those cabinets easily. Lock cabinets and put everything in the higher cabinets, including household cleaning products and medications. Give the kids one more obstacle to go through. And store all chemicals, medicines and toxic products in their original containers, not in food containers or soda bottles that kids will want to drink from.” Dr. Minasyan also advises checking your garage for dangerous substances like antifreeze (which looks like green Gatorade) so they can be locked up, too.
CALL THE NATIONWIDE POISON CONTROL CENTER – 24/7
For help, call the nationwide poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Memorize this number, program it into your cell phone and place it near every landline telephone in your home, says Dr. Minasyan. Parents should not hesitate to call the center for help or advice if they think their child has been poisoned, even if he is awake and alert. Call 911 if your child has collapsed or is not breathing, adds Dr. Minasyan.