About 90% of poison exposures happen at home, making it the second leading cause of accidental death in the home.
Nonfatal poisonings are most common among children under 5 years old. The most common causes of these poisonings are:
- Cleaning and household products
- Personal care and beauty products
- Medicines (especially dangerous are those with iron)
- Lead and carbon monoxide
Try these strategies:
- Know your poisons. It would be easier if every bottle that contained poison was marked with a skull and crossbones, as they are in cartoons. Poisons come in many forms: cosmetics, garden products such as fertilizer, furniture polish, dishwasher detergent, and carbon monoxide from burning fuel.
- Buy wisely. Purchase products with child safety lids, whenever you can.
- Store safely. Put any product with a warning label up high and in a locked cabinet. Don’t keep medicines in your purse, pockets, or drawers. Keep products in their original containers. Do not use food containers for storage.
- Watch your children. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, most child poisonings occur when parents are cooking dinner or not watching their children closely for other reasons.
- Follow directions on chemical products. Open a window when you are using them. Never mix household cleaning products together — bleach and ammonia mixed together create a toxic gas, for example.
- Keep carbon monoxide outside. Have heaters, stoves, and fireplaces checked by a professional every year. Carbon monoxide can also enter the house through an adjoining garage. Never run an engine or car motor or use a barbecue in a garage.
- Stay on top of medicines. Follow directions and measure carefully, keep track of when medicines are taken, and put them away right after use. Get rid of expired medicine by crushing or dissolving medications and adding them to old coffee grounds, then place them in a sealed plastic bag in the garbage can. Don’t flush them down the toilet unless the instructions say to do so. Monitor use of medicines prescribed for teens.
Post the poison control telephone number. Have it near every phone and store it in your cell phone: (800) 222-1222.
via Home Safety: Preventing Burns, Cuts, and More.
Every parent wants to protect their children from harm and to keep them safe. We don’t want children to suffer any pain, whether it’s from a common cold or broken bone.
In an effort to raise parents’ awareness about the leading causes of child injury in the United States and how they can be prevented, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has launched the Protect the Ones You Love initiative.
Parents can play a life-saving role in protecting children from injuries. Protect the Ones You Love is dedicated to sharing information on the important steps parents can take to make a positive difference.
It’s important to take action, because most child injuries can be prevented.
Many people don’t realize it, but the numbers show that:
- Injuries are the leading cause of death in children ages 19 and younger.
- Each year, nearly 9 million children aged 0 to 19 years are seen in emergency departments for injuries, and more than 9,000 children die as a result of being injured.
- Injury treatment is the leading cause of medical spending for children. The estimated annual cost of unintentional child injuries in the United States is nearly $11.5 billion.
via CDC – Injury – Safe Child Home.
As technology advances, communication needs and habits change as well. Children are becoming consumers of electronic information at earlier ages. Their skills at navigating digital media can even overwhelm some parents. And their access to questionable content increases as well. This is why safe practices are paramount for television viewing, video game playing, and movie watching
via Media Safety | PTA.
Gasoline safety tips
- Never use gas to start a fire: Parents who mix gas and fire put themselves – and anyone near them – at risk of injury or death. Kids learn by example.
- Talk to your kids about gasoline: Teenager Austin Bailiff nearly died in a gas fire. Share his video with your child at tulsaworld.com/stopgasfires
- Keep gas out of the reach of children: Out of sight isn’t enough, for any age. Store your gasoline where children cannot access it. Many parents keep gasoline in a locked location.
- Use a proper container: Never use old soda bottles or other makeshift containers to store gas; someone might think it’s a beverage and drink it. And even a small cup of gasoline can emit vapors and may ignite.
- Store gasoline in a well-ventilated area: Such as outside your vehicle and living space. Consider putting it in a detached garage or outdoor storage shed.
- Keep gas away from any source of heat, spark or flame: Even common household appliances like water heaters and clothes dryers can ignite gas vapors.
- Read the warning label on your gas can: A list of safety precautions is imprinted on every approved portable gasoline container. Make sure you read the warnings if you store gasoline at home.
via Gasoline and fire a dangerous combination | Tulsa World.
Many children are killed or seriously injured in backover incidents. A backover incident typically occurs when a vehicle coming out of a driveway or parking space backs over an unattended child because the driver did not see him or her.
- Teach children not to play in or around cars.
- Supervise children carefully when in and around vehicles.
- Always walk around your vehicle and check the area around it before backing up.
- Be aware of small children-the smaller a child, the more likely it is you will not see them.
- Teach children to move away from a vehicle when a driver gets in it or if the car is started.
- Have children in the area stand to the side of the driveway or sidewalk so you can see them as you are backing out of a driveway or parking space.
- Make sure to look behind you while backing up slowly in case a child dashes behind your vehicle unexpectedly.
- Take extra care if you drive a large vehicle because they are likely to have bigger blind zones. Roll down your windows while backing out of your driveway or parking space so that you’ll be able to hear what is happening outside of your vehicle.
- Teach your children to keep their toys and bikes out of the driveway.
- Because kids can move unpredictably, you should actively check your mirrors while backing up.
- Many cars are equipped with detection devices like backup cameras or warning sounds, but they cannot take the place of you actively walking around your car to make sure your children are safely out of the way. Do not rely solely on these devices to detect what’s behind your vehicle.
via Backovers | National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Top safety tips to help prevent tip-over hazards
- If a piece of furniture is unstable or top-heavy, secure it to a stud in the wall using brackets, braces, anchors or wall straps. Large items such as TVs, microwaves, fish tanks, bookcases, heavy furniture and appliances can topple off stands and fall on children.
- If you have a newer, flat screen TV, make sure it’s properly anchored to the wall.
- Read the manufacturer’s instructions for tips or warnings regarding placement of your TV or furniture.
- Keep heavier items on lower shelves or in lower drawers.
- Don’t keep remote controls, candy, toys or other items that attract children on top of furniture, as your child might be enticed to reach for these items.
- Supervise young children at all times.
via Hidden Danger: Furniture Tip-Overs.
Preventing “Backover” or “frontover” tragedies
Danger can come from any direction, and parents must be aware of the risk of “backover” or “frontover” incidents. Many of these preventable injuries and deaths occur in driveways or parking lots when drivers are unaware children are near vehicles. Tragically, these drivers are often family members or friends of the injured child.
Parents, caregivers, drivers, and kids can all do their part to make sure that children do not share the same space as vehicles.
- Walk all the way around your parked vehicle to check for children – or anything that can attract a child like pets or toys – under or behind your vehicle before getting in and starting the engine.
- Accompany young children when they get in and out of a vehicle.
- Identify and use safe play areas for children away from parked or moving vehicles. Block driveways so cars cannot enter and exit.
- Designate a safe spot within a driver’s sight for children to wait when nearby vehicles are about to move.
- Firmly hold the hand of each child when walking near moving vehicles and when in driveways, in parking lots or on sidewalks.
via Spot the Tot.
You might be surprised to hear that a child can die from heat stroke on a 72-degree day. There’s a medical reason why this happens to children – their bodies aren’t the same as adults. A child’s body can heat up five times faster than an adult’s.
Now think of how your car usually feels warmer inside than out. Did you know that even on a mild day, the temperature inside a car can rise 20 degrees in just 10 minutes? On an 80-degree day, the inside of a closed car can quickly reach 100 degrees in the time it takes to run into the store for an errand. Heat stroke happens when the body cannot cool itself fast enough and the core temperature rises to dangerous levels.
via Never Leave Your Child Alone in a Car.