Poison Prevention & Medecine Safety Tips
As your child grows, he or she becomes increasingly active and can more easily reach and open cabinets. Medicines, cleaning products and other poisons need to be locked in a place high up and out of your child's reach. Keep all potential poisons locked up and out of reach of children.
Babies and toddlers learn about the world around them by touching and tasting. So they may put anything in their mouths. And this puts them at increased risk of poisoning. 500 under 5s are rushed to casualty every week in the UK, for example, with suspected poisoning.
Store poisons in a cabinet that is high up and can be locked using a lock or latch that cannot be opened by a child.
Medicines are the most common cause of accidental poisoning in children. Everyday painkillers are a frequent culprit.
The kitchen and bathroom are the likeliest places for children to be accidentally poisoned by cleaning products.
Concentrated detergent capsules usually come in a box so don’t have the protection of child resistant caps and they don’t contain bittering agents.
While child-resistant tops are helpful as they slow young children down, they are not completely childproof. Some three and four year-olds can open them within seconds.
- When you’re trying to persuade a reluctant toddler to take their medicine, never pretend it’s a sweet.
- Children learn by imitating adults. So take your own medicine when they aren’t watching.
- Store medicines and cleaning products well out of young children’s reach and sight- on a high shelf or in a high cupboard with a child-resistant safety catch.
- Get down on your hands and knees to spot dangers from a young child’s point of view- for example, tablets in a handbag or cleaning products beside the toilet or under the kitchen sink.
- When you’re buying cleaning products, look for child-resistant tops and a bittering agent like Bitrex® in the ingredients. This makes the product taste really bitter so young children are far less likely to swallow it- helping to reduce accidental poisoning.
- Teach children never to eat plants or berries they have picked in the garden or countryside- without checking with an adult first.