How To Protect Your Children From Drinking What Under The Sink

Keeping your children and your family safe from accidental poisoning starts in the home. After all, that’s where the danger is: more than 90% of poisonings occur in the home. But there are ways to keep your family safe from what’s under the bathroom and kitchen sink. The more you know about how poisonings occur, the better equipped you will be to prevent them.

Common Poisons for Children and Adults

Poisonings that occur in children most typically occur with common household items. The most common items include:

  • Cosmetics and personal care products
  • Cleaning substances
  • Laundry products
  • Pain medicine
  • Small items like toys, coins, or thermometers
  • Topical preparations
  • Vitamins
  • Antihistamines
  • Pesticides
  • Plants
  • Antimicrobials

There are some similarities between the two, but the list of most common household poisons for adults looks a little different. In the case of adults, the most common household culprits include:

  • Pain medicines
  • Sedatives, hypnotics, antipsychotics
  • Antidepressants
  • Cardiovascular drugs
  • Cleaning substances
  • Alcohols
  • Pesticides
  • Animal or bug bites (ticks, spiders, bees, snakes)
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Cosmetics and personal care products

Most Dangerous Poisons for Children

You certainly don’t want your children to ingest anything that could be poisonous. However, there are some items that are extremely dangerous for children, and you should take caution in and around your house to limit your children’s exposure to these items. Buy them in small quantities, and dispose of unneeded extras safely and immediately.

The most dangerous poisons for children are:

  • Medicine. Be sure to dose your children’s medicine correctly and prevent them from access to any other medicines
  • Carbon monoxide. Put a carbon monoxide alarm in every sleeping area of your home.
  • Button batteries. When swallowed by children, button batteries lodge in the esophagus and can cause severe burns that spread into the trachea or aorta.
  • Iron pills. Swallowing an adult strength iron pill can cause children to start throwing up blood or having diarrhea in under an hour
  • Cleaning products that cause chemical burns. Make sure your children have no access to items like drain cleaners, toilet bowl cleaners, rust removers, and oven cleaners
  • Nail glue remover and primer. Some nail glue removers have cianide in them. This can cause poisoning or burns in children who swallow it.
  • Hydrocarbons like gasoline, kerosene, motor oil, lighter fluid, furniture polish and paint thinner. Swallowing these can cause choking, liquid in the lungs, and lung inflammation. Hydrocarbons are one of the leading causes of poisoning deaths in children.
  • Pesticides. Pesticides can cause harm not just through swallowing them, but also through inhalation and contact with the skin.

How to Keep Your Family Safe

There are many ways you can make your household safer and prevent poisonings. Some suggestions include:

  • Keep medicines, cleaning products, and other substances dangerous for children either locked or completely out of their sight and reach
  • Do not leave young children alone
  • Never leave poisons on a counter or an unlocked cabinet (even briefly)
  • Never carry something that could be poisonous in your purse or briefcase (where a child could find it)
  • Keep safety latches on drawers and cabinets, and make sure that the child-resistant caps on medicines are closed

Another way to help your children avoid accidental poisoning is to teach them about what items to avoid. Teach your children that:

  • If you don’t know what something is, don’t put it in your mouth
  • Never put plants, berries, or mushrooms in your mouth
  • Never take medicine unless a parent gives it to you
  • Always let a grown-up use spray cans and bottles.
  • Stay away from things used to clean the house, clothes, or car

Adults should take precautions too. Never mix together poisonous substances (cleaning items, medications, etc.), as you do not know what kind of reaction will occur (and what kind of poisonous fumes could result).

Also, always pay attention to dosing on medications. Do not mix medications without your doctor’s express instructions. And never share prescription medications.

What To Do If a Poisoning Occurs

If you or someone you are with has been poisoned, call the Poison Help line immediately at 1-800-222-1222. If you or the person is not breathing, call 911. Do not wait for signs or symptoms of poisoning to appear before calling for help: if you know that you or someone else has ingested a poison, make the call immediately.

Along with keeping dangerous chemicals away from children, don’t forget other ways that chemicals can enter your body. Know what is in the things you eat and drink is important, including your supplements. Standard Process and Pure Encapsulations are two brands that work to keep what you don’t want from your supplements.


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