Guest Blog

Note: We received the following published article that was submitted by one of our readers, hoping to help spread the word about harmful products that exist in our homes.  This should help us think about ways we can protect our children and grandchildren: “Medical Danger Guide: Common Household Poisons.”   

There are harmful chemical substances in every home today. Hence, it is important for parents to be careful with the way they keep household items. Poisons from household chemicals can become a threat to life when consumed or inhaled. Sometimes, this can lead to death, brain disorder and other serious issues. Most homes have more than fifty products that contain poisonous substances. It is therefore the responsibility of parents to know these products and keep them away from the kids. This can be done more effectively by packaging the products with materials that are very difficult for children to destroy.

If you know someone who has just inhaled or consumed poison, please call the US department of health and human services on this hotline: 1-800-222-1222.

Some of the common household poisons are listed below:

  • Iron Supplement– A lot of people think it is harmless to take iron supplements. Unfortunately, this can cause death among children if they take up to five pills at once.
  • Batteries– Old batteries possess harmful chemicals such as lead, acid, cadmium and mercury. These chemicals can cause death when taken through the mouth.
  • Art and Crafts Supplies– There are several art and crafts items that are dangerous to children. These items include: paints, glue, and ink. This means that parents should endeavor to purchase only those that are considered to be safe for children.
  • Baby Oils– A mouthful of baby oil can cause lung inflammation. Lung inflammation can also be caused by consuming bath oils, makeup removers and massage oils.
  • Toothpaste– Toothpastes are dangerous because they contain a harmful chemical substance known as fluoride. Consumption of fluoride can lead to poisoning and death. Therefore, children should be supervised while brushing their teeth and also educated on the need to avoid swallowing the toothpaste.
  • Thermometers and Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs– Thermometers and compact fluorescent lightbulbs are made of mercury. They should be kept out of the reach of children because they can release mercury if broken. Mercury can cause health problems such as kidney damage and disorders of the nervous and digestive systems.
  • Bleach– High concentration of bleach is harmful to the skin and eyes. Inhaling bleach can also cause respiratory diseases.
  • Paints and Solvents– There are numerous paints and solvents that are made of perchloroethylene. Perchloroethylene can cause liver problems, kidney damage, loss of memory, headache, dizziness and fatigue.
  • Pesticides– Pesticides are made of dangerous chemicals such as organophosphates. When exposed to high concentrations, pesticides can lead to death of children and pets.
  • Perfumes and Colognes– Alcohol is used in the production of several perfumes and colognes available on the market. Alcohol is a dangerous chemical that is responsible for several health problems today.

Children are more prone to these household chemicals because they cannot read labels and determine what is safe (or unsafe) for them. As a result, parents are advised to hide these items by employing the following tips:

  • Understand the information on the label to know how to use the product.
  • Products with harmful chemicals should be locked up in a cabinet to prevent children from having them.
  • Parents should attend to household poisons before attending to other important issues.
  • Household products should be kept safely after using them.
  • Children should not be allowed to come around when harmful products are being used.
  • Since mixing different chemical products can also produce harmful substances, it is advisable to do so only when it is recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Medicines and health supplements should not be placed in reach of children.
  • Even if there is a need to take medicine, it is advisable to do so when the children are not watching. This is because they may want to take the medicines when they are alone.
  • Explain what medications actually mean to children.
  • Purchase products that are packaged with child-resistant materials.

We always thank our readers for sharing information that helps keep our youngsters safe.