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Poison Proofing Your Home (cont.)

Protect Yourself from Household Chemicals

The following tips can help to prevent accidental poisoning from household chemicals:

  • Keep products in their original containers with the labels in place. Often, the label can provide important information about the product and what to do in case of poisoning.
  • Store foods separately from household chemicals. Containers often look similar, making it easy for both children and adults to make mistakes. If possible, store cleaning products outside the kitchen.
  • Do not mix different products. Mixing products can create poisonous gases.
  • Store household chemicals out of reach of small children. Use safety locks on cabinets and avoid storing potentially dangerous products in cabinets close to the floor or ground.
  • Watch children closely when using cleaning products. Most poisonings occur while the cleaning product is being used. Return all cleaning products to their original storage location immediately after use.
  • Wear appropriate protective clothing when using spray products and pesticides. Protective clothing can include long sleeves, pants, gloves, socks, and shoes.
  • Avoid areas where pesticides have recently been sprayed. Pesticides are absorbed easily through the skin and can be poisonous.
  • Discard old or outdated products that could represent a poisoning hazard.

Protect Yourself from Poisoning Due to Medications

  • Keep medications in their original containers to prevent the wrong medication being taken by mistake.
  • Make sure medications are kept in child-resistant containers. Keep medications out of the reach of children. Remember that the term child-resistant does not necessarily mean childproof.
  • Avoid taking medications in front of small children. Small children may want to imitate your actions and take the same medication.
  • Do not tell children that medicine is candy.
  • Read and follow the instructions and warnings on all medications.
  • Talk to a doctor or pharmacist about all medications, vitamins, herbal products, and supplements you are taking. Some dangerous interactions may occur among different medications, vitamins, or herbal supplements.
  • Avoid mixing medications with alcohol because of possible dangerous interactions.
  • Discard old and outdated medicines correctly by returning them to your pharmacy, doctor's office, or other location approved for disposal of expired or usused medication. Your pharmacist can give you further directions on the safe disposal of medications. Flushing medications down the toilet is not recommended since these may contaminate the water supply.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/22/2016

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