Child Proof Your Home

Many parents and caregivers do not realize that is an everyday cleaning agent - laundry detergent or personal care product can be a harmful, even fatal, poison to children if mishandled or ingested.

Follow these tips to help reduce the risk in your home:

  • Buy and store all medicine and household products in child-resistant packaging.

  • Store cleaners, lye, furniture polish, dishwasher soap, paints, varnishes, thinners, pesticides, fertilizers, and other dangerous products in a locked cabinet in their original, labeled containers.

  • Never put inedible products in food or drink containers, even when re-labeled accordingly. Children may not be able to read the new label.

  • If you must store items under the sink, use safety latches that lock every time you close the cabinet.

  • Post the number to the poison control center by every telephone -- where all family members and caregivers can find it easily in an emergency.

  • Dispose of any expired drugs by flushing them down the toilet.

  • Put yourself at eye level, checking every place your children may go on their hands and knees. Be sure to properly discard anything that could be potentially harmful.

  • Do not keep toothpaste, soaps, shampoos, and other frequently used items in the same cabinet as dangerous products.

  • Do not take medication in front of small children; they may try to copy you.

  • Never say that a medication is candy in order to get your child to take it.

  • Check the label every time you give medication. This will help you to be sure you are giving the right medication in the right amounts. Mistakes are more common in the middle of the night, so always turn on a light when handling any medication.

  • Read labels on all household products before you buy them. Try to find the least toxic ones for the job. Buy only what you need to use right away.

  • Never run your car in a closed garage. Be sure that coal, wood, or kerosene stoves are in good working order. If you smell gas, turn off the stove or gas burner, leave the house, and call the gas company.