For National Poison Prevention Week (March 18-24), now in its 50th year, experts are reminding families to keep their homes safe for children by securing medicines, chemicals, and pesticides in locked cabinets.
Poisons don't have to be ingested to be dangerous, and they can come in solid, liquid, or sprayable forms. Some are even invisible.
More than 150,000 calls to poison centers each year involve pesticides and disinfectants. The most-common exposures to children include cosmetics and personal care products, pain medication, and cleaning products.
Proper storage is key to prevent poisoning:
- Store household products and medicines in locked cabinets that a child can't reach.
- Do not store them over stoves or ovens.
- Keep medicines in child-resistant containers.
- Every household product should be in its original container with the label intact. In the event of a poisoning, you will need to give the poison-control center vital information listed on the container and on the label.
For more storage tips see Accidental poisoning of kids by prescription drugs is up, says study. Plus a growing number of less-toxic commercial cleaning products are now available in stores and online, for more see our Green cleaners buying guide. And when it comes to testing your home for lead see our previous report on home lead kits, where our tests found that some were easier to use than others.
The following video was part of our Consumer Reports Safe Marketplace Program:
The national poison help hotline is 1-800-222-1222. For information on poison control centers see the American Association of Poison Control Centers.
American Association of Poison Control Centers Celebrates 50th Annual Poison Prevention Week [American Association of Poison Control Centers]
Poisoning is a Major Cause of Death from Injury in the U.S. / US Government raising awareness of accidental exposures during National Poison Prevention Week [EPA]
Presidental Proclamation -- National Poison Prevention Week, 2012 [The White House Office of the Press Secretary]