There are dangers for children in each room of the house. Most accidental poisonings involve children under 6 years of age and occur in the home. Over half of these poisonings involve common household products such as cosmetics and plants. These are often attractive to children because of their color and scent. The remainder involve common medications such as pain relievers, cough and cold preparations, vitamins and prescription drugs.
We have developed a checklist that can help you find out if your home is "poison proof." With the checklist in hand, wander through each room and look at it through the eyes of a child. Is anything within a child's reach? Are safety latches on all cabinets and drawers containing harmful products? Is the Poison Control Center's telephone number on all phones in the house?
In the kitchen, most of the dangers are found in the "cleaning cabinet" where you store drain openers, dishwashing detergents (especially those made for the dishwasher), pine oil cleaners, oven cleaners and ammonia, just to name a few. Often children get into these products while they are being used. Some edible products such as flavoring extracts, baking soda, vinegar, salt and hot pepper can also be harmful to children.
Dangers in the bathroom include medications, powders, beauty supplies, mouthwash, first aid supplies (rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide), after shave lotions, deodorants and cleaners. In addition, many soaps and shampoos come in delicious scents that can be tempting for a child.
Dressers and nightstands may contain potential dangers such as medications, perfumes, cosmetics and cigarettes.
The garage, basement and laundry rooms may contain a wide variety of poisons. Examples include detergents/bleach, antifreeze, motor oil, gasoline and related petroleum products, car polish, car batteries, oil-based paint, paint removers, mothballs, lime, bug killers, weed killers, mouse/rat poison, rock salt and fire extinguishers.
Other items in the house that can be dangerous to children include liquor, lamp oil, furniture polish and certain plants.
Our checklist was developed to help you to poison-proof your home. The list does not include every possible danger, contact The Poison Control Center for further information.
Call our 24-hour toll-free emergency hotline