How to Prevent Poisonings While at Home

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Many everyday items in your home - from makeup to medicine - can be harmful if ingested or if taken in the wrong doses. In fact, the Center for Disease Control reported that poisoning deaths are actually on the rise, with an average of 87 people dying each day due to unintentional poisoning. Use the following tips to ensure that your family isn't at risk.

1. Store cleaning products and chemicals carefully
Try not to keep cleaning supplies under the sink or in an area where children could easily reach them, and use safety latches on any cabinet containing hazardous substances. Don't leave bottles unattended while using harmful chemicals, and keep all cleaning products in their original containers. Substances should never be stored in a container that was once used for food. According to the Center for Poison Control, the top five most common exposures in children less than five years old were cosmetics, analgesics, household cleaning substances, foreign bodies, and topical preparations.

2. Be careful when taking or administering medication
Store medication in an area where kids can't get to it, and be aware that even if the packaging on a medicine bottle may say that it's child-resistant or tamper-proof, that doesn't necessarily mean that your children won't be able to open it.  Try to keep a record of how many pills are left in each container, and to ensure the correct dosage, don't measure or administer medicine in the dark. Finally, KidsHealth reported that you should never tell your children that a medication tastes like candy - it may convince them to take it, but it could also entice them to try it when a parent isn't present.

3. Keep an eye on alcoholic beverages
Alcoholic drinks should never be stored in an area where children can reach them. Bottles should be kept locked up and stored in an area that is out of reach. Be careful during parties - guests may not be aware that their drinks are within a child's grasp. Parents should also be aware that some brands of mouthwash, as well as vanilla extract and almond extract, can contain alcohol, which could be harmful to kids. 

4. Know what steps to take if a poisoning does occur
Even if you're exceedingly careful with the toxic substances in your home, accidents can happen. In the case of a poisoning emergency, remain calm. If the victim is not breathing or has collapsed, the CDC reported that you should call 911 immediately. Dial 1-800-222-1222 if the victim is awake. Be ready to tell the operator your address, the victim's age and weight, what substance was consumed and the time of exposure, and follow the instructions you are given. 

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