The prescription medications that safeguard your health and the over-the-counter pills that ease minor aches and pains can be a blessing to ailing adults, but present a very serious danger to young children. Making sure that all of your household medications are stored in a place children cannot reach and are inside child-resistant containers is imperative. It’s also very important to make sure that you keep an eye on visitors’ belongings. When Grandma stows her pills in a daily dosage container with a simple flip-top and tosses it in her purse for easy access on the go, there’s very little keeping an inquisitive child from ingesting those medications. This especially holds true for toddlers and preschoolers that may have learned to associate “Grandma’s Purse” with “candies and sweets.” Make sure that visitors have a safe place to store their bags while they spend time in your home.
Clean Up Your Household Cleaner Shelf
Keeping all of your household cleaners in the cabinet under the sink is both wildly common and quite convenient. Even if you spring for the cabinet locks touted by baby-proofing experts as infallible, it’s important to keep in mind that no baby-proofing product is immune to failure. Installing cabinet locks is a great idea that can keep children from accessing a variety of unsafe objects, but moving the chemical cleaners to a high cabinet is the most effective way of keeping them out of kids’ reach.
Check the Paint
Buying older houses in rebounding neighborhoods is a popular trend for lots of reasons. Older houses have character, the price point can be more manageable than a shiny, new McMansion and they’re generally packed with charming features. Before moving into your new-to-you home, however, you’ll want to make sure that none of the paint inside it contains lead before you start scraping. Using a lead testing kit is your safest bet, especially if you suspect that the existing paint is a relic from a society that wasn’t so aware of the danger of lead.
Food Poisoning is Still Poisoning
Just because food is intended to be ingested doesn’t mean that it can’t be poisonous. Making sure that you are well informed regarding safe food handling practices and that all foods you feed your child are kept at the proper temperature and prepared in such a manner so harmful bacteria is eliminated is essential to his health. It’s also important to make sure that your child isn’t able to access the contents of the garbage can. Adults might think that the off-putting smell of a garbage can is enough to repel anyone, but the curiosity of an inquisitive child knows no bounds.
Monitor Your Carbon Monoxide Detectors
When you change your clocks and the batteries in your smoke detector at the beginning and end of daylight savings, make sure that you also change the batteries in your carbon monoxide detector and test it to ensure full functionality. Carbon monoxide is tasteless, odorless and colorless, so the only way to truly protect your family from accidental poisoning is to make sure that your first line of defense, your detectors, are working.
Kitchens, bathrooms and garages are the most common sites of accidental household poisonings. Paying special attention to these areas of your home and making sure that any potentially dangerous substances are stored far out of kids’ reach can help you prevent a poisoning emergency in your home. It’s also imperative that you store all chemical products in their original containers, as they contain important information that your physician or poison control specialist will need to ensure that your child gets the proper treatment in the event of an inadvertent poisoning emergency. Parents and childcare providers should also know how to spot the signs of poison ingestion, which consist of burns or redness around the mouth and lips, a chemical smell on kids’ breath, vomiting, dizziness, sleepiness, confusion and other strange behavior, including difficulty breathing, seizures and unconsciousness.