Poison Awareness & Prevention Tips

Abarcans want to bring awareness to how we can all be more conscious of poison prevention at home, especially for our young ones.

Did you know that nearly 3 million people, many of which are under the age of 5, have had contact or swallow a poisonous substance each year? We’ve seen that most of these instances occur when caregivers or parents are home but not paying attention.

Of these poisons, the most dangerous are cleaning products, medicines, pesticides, liquid nicotine, gasoline, furniture polish, kerosene, and lamp oil. It is also extremely important that when you make visits to other people’s homes, you make sure safeguards are in place to prevent poisoning of your little ones.

Here we share with you some valuable tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics on how to prevent poison exposure in your home:

  • Store medicine, cleaning, and laundry products, (including detergent packets) paints/varnishes, and pesticides in their original packaging in locked cabinets or containers, out of sight and reach of children. It is best to use traditional liquid or powder laundry detergents instead of detergent packets until all children who live in or visit your home are at least 6 years old.
  • Put safety latches that automatically lock on our cabinets to help keep children away from poisonous products. These locks are not always full proof, so the safest place to store hazardous products is somewhere a child can’t see or reach.
  • Keep all medicines in containers with safety caps and dispose of all unused medication. Keep in mind that safety caps are designed to be child-resistant but are not fully child-proof.
  • Never refer to medicine as “candy” or another appealing name.
  • Ensure proper dosage of medicines by checking the label each time you give it to a child. Use the dosing device that comes with liquid medications, never use a kitchen spoon.
  • For people who use an e-cigarette, keep the liquid nicotine refills locked in a safe place out of reach of children and only buy refills that use child-resistant packaging. Even a small amount of liquid nicotine spilled on the skin or swallowed by a child can be fatal.
  • Never place poisonous products in food or drink containers.
  • Make sure to keep natural gas-powered appliances, furnaces, and coal, wood, or kerosene stoves in safe working order.
  • Maintain working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Secure remote controls, key fobs, greeting cards, and musical children’s books. These and other devices may contain small button-cell batteries that can cause injury if ingested.
  • Know the types and names of plants you have in your home or yard as some of them may be poisonous for your young children or pets.

If your child is unconscious, not breathing, or having convulsions or seizures due to poison contact or ingestion, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.

​To get help from Poison Control, use the webPOISONCONTROL online tool or call 1-800-222-1222. Both options are free, expert, and confidential.

As part of our mission for better care in our communities, Abarca seeks to spread the word on poison prevention so that we may educate and help save lives. Keep your young ones safe and learn more about how to safe proof your home from poisonous products.

This blog was written by Ana Rivera, Clinical Programs Manager at Abarca Health.

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