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health tips - Help Avoid Accidental Poisonings



There are over two million cases of poisoning reported each year. Half of these are in children below the age of six. Here are some tips for different areas of the home to help avoid accidental poisonings.

The Kitchen

•·   Make sure all harmful products such as furniture polish, drain cleaners, oven cleaners etc. have child resistant caps

•·   Make sure all harmful products are in their original containers. Replacing original containers with food containers can tempt children to drink them and original containers have useful first aid information if the products are swallowed accidentally

•·   Store harmful products away from food cabinets

•·   Put all potentially harmful products up high and out of children's reach

•·   Lock cabinets that hold harmful products

The Bathroom

•·   Lock medicine cabinets

•·   Make sure all medicines have child proof caps and are properly secured

•·   Get rid of expired medicine. As medicines get older, the chemicals in them can change and become poisonous. Bring expired medications to designated community collection points. If necessary, flush old medicines down the toilet, rinse the container and discard it

•·   Make sure all medicines are in their original containers with the original labels. The prescription number on the container allows quick identification of the medication and its ingredients. The original label also helps to make sure you are taking the right medication

•·   Make sure vitamins and mineral supplements are in child resistant packaging especially if they contain iron. A few iron pills can kill a child

The Garage or Storage area

•·   Many things in the garage and storage area such as charcoal lighter, paint thinner and remover, antifreeze and turpentine can cause death if swallowed

•·   Make sure all these potentially harmful products have child resistant caps

•·   Make sure all harmful products are stored in original containers with the

    original labels

•·   Make sure the harmful products are locked up and are out of sight and

    reach of children

Remember the poison control center number

(1-800-222-1222) and post it near your phone!

Information provided by Christine Steffensen, PharmD and pharmacy students Sara Wormley and Monica Gichuru-Wiley at Advocate Children's Hospital - Oak Lawn, Oak Lawn.

For more information call 1-800-3-ADVOCATE or visit

View additional health tips below:

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