Every day thousands of new parents assume the responsibility of caring for and protecting a child. Many of these first-time caregivers are unaware of the dangers of unintentional poisonings often related to medicines and household products commonly found in the home, such as personal care products, over-the-counter pain relievers and cleaning substances.
From 2002 through 2004, about 36 children younger than 5 died each year as a result of ingesting poisonous substances found in and around the home. In 2005 about 91,000 young children visited hospital emergency rooms and more than one million calls were placed to poison control centers as a result of unintentional poisoning.
To prevent poisoning incidents, Hampton Fire recommends the following safety steps:
- Always turn the light on when giving or taking medicine. Check the dosage every time.
- Avoid taking medicine in front of children. Refer to medicine as "medicine," not "candy."
- Call 911 immediately in case of poisoning.
- Clean out the medicine cabinet periodically and safely dispose of unneeded and outdated medicines.
- Do not put decorative lamps and candles that contain lamp oil where children can reach them. Lamp oil can be very toxic if ingested by young children.
- Keep all household chemicals and medicines locked up, out of sight and out of reach.
- Keep items in original containers.
- Leave the original labels on all products, and read the label before using to understand correct use and dosage.
- Use child-resistant packaging properly by closing the container securely after each use. Some products also come in child-resistant blister cards, which avoid the need to re-secure.
- When products are in use, never let young children out of your sight, even if you must take them along when answering the phone or doorbell.
New Hampshire Poison Information Center
Find additional information about the New Hampshire Poison Information Center in the resource directory.