Having a family comes with great responsibility, and having a child can be even more demanding, especially with all of the dangers out in the world. Some of those dangers can include poisonous substances your child might try to ingest, like old medication or a mushroom they found outside in the yard. While you shouldn’t completely shelter your child from the world, it’s still best to be aware, alert, and prepared in case something does happen out of your control.
Get rid of expired or unused medication. If you or others no longer require medication don’t let it sit in your home. If it gets into the wrong hands or is unknowingly moved by someone, that’s one step closer to your child getting their hands on it.
Speaking of medication, make sure that everything is tightly sealed, clearly labeled, and stored far out of your child’s reach. Don’t leave anything out in the open and pay careful attention to the instructions on the packaging, this way you’re not giving an incorrect dosage to your child when they need it.
You might have the right idea about locking up cabinets that contain bleaches, glass cleaner, and other household cleaners, but do you have other types of chemicals locked away safely?
What about dish detergent? Or your laundry detergent and other special stain cleaners? You may not think to put these items away or keep them in your laundry room or kitchen for convenience, however, putting these items away every time after use can protect your child from getting into them.
Plus, many detergents that are in plastic pods may look like a toy to a small child. They may end up eating it or squirting the contents into their eyes. So, if you use these pods make sure you have them securely stored somewhere out of reach!
There are also poisonous dangers outside of the home and depending on where you live, your property could contain more of it. Wild animals, such as poisonous snakes or spiders, can bite your child and if you aren’t careful your child may see a wild mushroom as a tasty snack.
Additionally, plants such as poison ivy, poison sumac, and poison oak all pose dangers because kids may not think twice about where they’re playing or what they’re touching. Hands that also constantly touch eyes or mouths can spread the rash that many people get from these plants. This could cause a serious infection and inflammation in very sensitive areas. Therefore, keep an eye on your child’s surroundings and make sure they’re aware of what not to touch.
Keep a list of emergency numbers.
Make a list of important numbers such as your child’s doctor, the police, trusted neighbors, family members in the local area, and the poison control center. In fact, the poison control center has a hotline that can be reached in case of a serious emergency 24 hours a day at (800) 222-1222. Store these numbers on your phone and keep a list on your refrigerator for safe keeping.
There can be a variety of hidden dangers you may not aware of in your home. These can include undetectable gases like carbon monoxide or lead that may be in your home’s paint (particularly if you have an older house).
Make sure you install a carbon monoxide detector and if you’re concerned about lead exposure in your home, make sure to ask your child’s doctor about a lead test. Exposure to either of these can cause brain damage, sickness, fatigue, developmental disorders, and in some cases death.
Additionally, you can check out this infographic from our friends at Green Pal about avoiding poison ivy!
Knowing how to give CPR can save your child’s life, especially if they’ve ingested something they shouldn’t have. In fact, there are a variety of classes you can learn in the home, online, or in person. Plus, understanding the basics can help you have more control in a dire situation.
Educate your child.
Many schools educate children the dangers of poison and what to avoid, however, it doesn’t hurt to reinforce this in the home. Teach your child (if they’re old enough to understand) the dangers of poisonous substances in and outside the home. This can include teaching them about plants they shouldn’t touch like poison ivy to household cleaners that they shouldn’t drink.
There are also a variety of online activity sheets you can print to help reinforce your child’s awareness of avoiding dangerous substances and objects.
We hope that you learned a few new ideas about protecting your family from exposure to poisons. Are there any practices you take so your child doesn’t get into poisonous substances? We’d love to hear about your ideas in the in comments below!