March is Poison Awareness Month, and there is no better time to educate and explain the dangers of poisons. From household cleaners and gardening products to prescriptive medications and laundry soaps, teaching your family right from wrong can help keep everyone safe.
Know Who’s at Risk
Accidental poisonings occur every day to humans of all ages. Seniors are at risk because many of them attempt to take their prescriptive medications without the assistance of their reading glasses. While hoping to take a pill for high blood pressure, they could mistakenly ingest pain medication from a recent surgery. Infants and children are also in danger when it comes to poisons. Since their curiosity is at heightened levels at this stage in their small lives, they are more prone to touching, tasting and using their hands to explore.
Keep Items Out of Reach
Whether you’re storing household cleaners, paint, anti-freeze or prescriptive medications, you want to store the items properly. Brightly colored pills, floor cleaners, and laundry pods can look aesthetically pleasing, especially to children. A locked storage cabinet can keep prying hands and eyes safe. You also never want to leave pill bottles or containers unhinged and opened. In addition to a locked cabinet, you should store the items on an upper shelf in case the container is accidentally left open.
If you must have certain toxic items around your home, you need to read the labels carefully. This will allow its proper usage and what to do in case of an emergency. With so much attention being spent on being kind to Mother Nature today, you may also find products that are environmentally, human, and pet safe.
Implement an Emergency Plan
With over 700,000 visits to the emergency room each year and an estimated 35,000 deaths due to poisoning, you need to have a plan in place in case of an emergency. The Poison Helpline can be reached at 1-800-222-1222. Nurses, physicians, and other staff are in attendance at all hours and can offer their assistance.