Kids get into things they’re not supposed to—it’s part of what makes them kids! But it’s important to make sure they don’t get ahold of household items that could be dangerous to their health and safety.
Half of the 2 million calls made to the Poison Help Line in 2011 involved children ages five and under with nine out of 10 poisonings occurring within the home. Kids don’t always recognize household items as being dangerous, so it’s our job to make sure those products don’t fall into the wrong little hands.
Here are some ways to help keep your little ones from getting into those dangerous items.
- Out of sight, out of mind—Keep cleaners and other toxic household products out of sight and reach from children. Consider installing child safety locks on lower cabinets where these items may be stored to help give you peace of mind.
- Check labels—While some household items like antifreeze and cleaning supplies should obviously remain out of reach from your little ones, there are some items that may pose the same danger but be less obvious risks. Always check product labels for hazardous materials as dangerous items may include: makeup, personal care products, plants, art supplies and more.
- Keep watch—Don’t leave hazardous products unattended while in use. Before walking away, always move any items out of sight and reach from small children.
- Original Packaging—Keep cleaning materials and other household items in their original packaging to avoid confusion and to keep them from being mistaken for something else.
- Clean out your cabinets—Make it a priority to regularly clean out your medicine and household cleaning cabinets, throwing away old products that are no longer needed.
- Store your purse—It’s a good idea to store your purse out of sight and reach from small children. Regularly clean your purse of any potentially harmful medicines or products.
- Detergent pods + button batteries—Laundry and dishwasher detergent pods and button batteries are sending more than 20,000 kids to the hospital each year. Keep these and other hidden household dangers like hand sanitizer and e-cigarettes out of sight and reach of your little ones.
One of the best ways to spot potentially dangerous substances around your home is by going through each room on a child’s level. This is the a great way to identify cabinets that may need a child safety lock or hazardous products that may need to be stored elsewhere
While we hope you’ll never have to use it, save the Poison Help number in your phone and encourage other caregivers to do the same: 1.800.222.1222. Keep a copy of the number on your fridge or near the phone in case of emergencies and call immediately if your child ingests something from the list above. Never try to make your child vomit or give them anything to expel the object unless directed by a professional. The Poison Help Line is a national number staffed 24/7 by experts who will connect you with regional 911 operators, if necessary, or advise you on how to help your child.