Kids and Medicine: Sweet Snack or Toxic Treat?

March 15, 2020

Colorful, sweet-smelling and tempting. The same reasons we're drawn to buy a certain cleaning product can also tempt a child to take a sip of something toxic.

As the nation - and world - heads indoors amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us may be tempted to jumpstart our spring cleaning. So now's a good time to assess the location of your supplies.

Check out these tips and resources to help prevent frantic calls to the Poison Help number, frightening trips to the ER and fretful hours spent bedside.

WATCH: Side-by-Side Product Walkthrough

Is it a blue drink or washer fluid? Becky Spain with Mercy Injury Prevention and Safe Kids Springfield gives us side-by-side comparisons.

WATCH: Medicine or Candy? Tips for Guardians

Is it a tasty drink or cold medicine? Becky Spain with Mercy Injury Prevention and Safe Kids Springfield gives us side-by-side comparisons.

Test Your Knowledge: Treat or Toxic?

Poison Prevention Tips from Safe Kids Worldwide

How to Store Household Products Safely

  1. Put household cleaning products up and away, out of children’s reach and sight. Make sure to put cleanings supplies and any poisons away after every use.
  2. Keep all household cleaning products in their original containers. When buying products, look for child-resistant containers for an extra layer of protection.
  3. Remember products that might be harmful to kids. Check your home for products like cleaning supplies, liquid laundry packets, plants, pesticides, alcohol, medicine. Keep personal care products such as lotion, makeup, cleanser and deodorant where kids can’t get into them.

Check Your Purse for Potential Hazards

  1. Be aware of any medications or makeup that may be in your handbag. Store handbags out of the reach of young children.

How to Use Household Products Safely

  1. Read and follow product labels. Check for ingredients that can be harmful to kids and make sure you use and store products according to the label. Kids can get into things quickly, so remember not to leave cleaning products or personal care products unattended while you are using them.
  2. Throw away old products. Check your bathroom, garage and other storage areas in your home for products you no longer need.

Check for Other Poisons in Your Home

  1. Check homes built before 1978 for lead-based paint. If lead hazards are identified, call the National Lead Information Center (1-800-424-5323) for detailed information.
  2. Check www.recalls.gov for more info on product recalls involving lead-based products. Follow the recommendations to get rid of any products like toys or cookware that contain lead.
  3. Install carbon monoxide (CO) alarms. Make sure there is one on every level of your home, especially around sleeping areas. If the CO alarm sounds, leave your home immediately and move to a safe location outside where you can breathe in fresh air before you call for help.

What to Do in a Poison Emergency

  1. Save the Poison Help number in your phone and post it visibly at home: 1-800-222-1222. The Poison Help line is not just for emergencies. You can call this free, 24-hour, confidential phone line with questions about how to take or give medicine, concerns about plants, chemicals, carbon monoxide, bites, stings and more. You can also use the Poison Help online tool for poisoning information.

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