Protect Your Children from Household Hazards
When taken properly, medicine heals. When placed in the wrong hands, prescription medications can be deadly. This is especially true for young children who may consume liquids or pills that can be life-threatening or fatal.
Medicine, if taken outside the scope of care, can cause hazards to your health, says pediatrician, Pierre Loredo, M.D. Young children can mistake the bright colors of pills for candy and eat them in large quantities.
Other household items can be just as dangerous if young children ingest them. Examples include:
- Cleaning products, including toilet bowl cleaners, rust removers and oven cleaners
- Nail glue remover and nail primers used in home manicures
- Windshield washer solution and antifreeze
- Drain cleaners
These products can cause everything from chemical burns to nervous system damage from fumes. Even small amounts of some of these items can cause blindness and death if consumed, Dr. Loredo says. Antifreeze can cause kidney failure and death, if swallowed.
Parents must protect young children who may be tempted by pretty packaging or interesting smells. Start by storing items safely and separately, Dr. Laredo says. Toothpaste should not be in the same place as hazardous materials, like Drano . Other ideas include:
- Keeping the poison control number in a visible and easy-to-reach area: 1-800-222-1222
- Teaching your children the substances they cannot touch
- Reading the warnings and ingredient lists on all substances
- Using child locks on cabinets that contain hazardous materials
- Watching children
- Using adequate ventilation
The parent is the first line of defense in eliminating injury from household products or situations, Dr. Loredo says. Remember, in addition to chemicals, items such as cords, pieces off toys, filled bathtubs, open windows, and stoves can be hazardous because they put your child at increased risk of injury if unsupervised.
Pierre Loredo, M.D.
Lee Physician Group
4751 S. Cleveland Avenue
Fort Myers, FL 33907