Poisonings are now the number 1 leading cause of death in the U.S., ahead of motor vehicle accidents and gun violence. As one of the longest continuously running, health and safety campaigns in the United States, the key goal of NPPW is to create national awareness about the risk of injury or death due to poisoning. From unintentional child poisonings with household products to prescription medicine abuse, poisonings and poisoning-related incidents have a nationwide reach.
“The largest number of calls we receive is about over the counter medications, including pain relievers like ibuprofen and acetaminophen, as well as cough and cold products, “ said Ashley Webb, M.Sc., Pharm.D., DABAT director of the Kentucky Regional Poison Control Center. “There are also a high number of calls around insecticides and rat poisons. The best thing parents and caregivers can do is poison proof all areas of homes and businesses. Simply placing things out of reach or locking cabinets can make a big difference.”
To poison proof your home, follow these guidelines in each room:
– Move cleaning products from under the sink to upper shelves or locked cabinets.
– Remove medicines – including vitamins – from countertops, window sills and open areas.
– Store all household products away from food items.
– Make sure all harmful products in your home have child-resistant caps.
– Be sure all potentially harmful products are kept in their original containers.
– Are plants kept out of reach of children?
– Are cigarettes and cigarette butts kept out of reach of children?
– Be careful about leaving children unattended around visitors’ belongings.
– Keep all medicines, cosmetics, perfumes, mouthwashes, etc., out of sight and out of reach of children, or lock them up.
– Move drain and toilet bowl cleaners, etc., from under the sink to upper shelves of closets or locked cabinets.
– Flush old medicine down the toilet.
– Remove medicines from dresser or bedside table.
– Keep perfumes, nail polish removers and powders out of reach of children.
– Place a carbon monoxide detector outside or near sleeping area.
– Keep all bleaches, soaps and detergents out of reach of children or in a locked cabinet.
– Keep insect sprays, weed killers and fertilizers in locked storage.
– Keep turpentine, paints, antifreeze, windshield washer fluid, rust removers and motor oils in locked storage.
– Keep products in their original container with original labels.
For more information about household poisons and preventing poisoning, visit www.kypoisoncenter.com.