National poison prevention week is March 20th through 26th. Children six and under are the most likely to accidentally ingest something poisonous. The toxic items they can get into can be dangerous, even deadly. How can you be sure your household is safe?
The headlines were alarming when laundry detergent pods first hit the market even now, children are still dying from ingesting them. That’s why it’s important to lock up cleaning supplies, medications, and other harmful chemicals.
Dawn Sollee, the Director of the Florida USVI Poison Information Center says, “Approximately 40 percent of the calls to poison centers involve children under the age of six.”
Cosmetics and personal care products like makeup, toothpaste, hand sanitizer, nail polish remover, and even mouthwashes can be harmful if ingested. Hair relaxers and dyes can cause severe burns in the mouth and esophagus.
Sollee adds, ”Most of the time toddlers and children get into products that are being used or are available to them.”
Liquid nicotine refills for vapes are deadly. Flavors like bubblegum, or cotton candy are very appealing to kids. In 2018, 1,892 children aged five and under were exposed to vaping liquids. If swallowed, vomiting, irregular heartbeat, and seizures can occur. Just a teaspoon of the liquid nicotine can be fatal for a 26-pound toddler.
“I always tell parents to get down on the level of the child. It lets you see things in a whole new different light compared to when you’re looking from a standing position.” Sollee advises.
Some houseplants can also be toxic to children and pets here’s a list of the top ten that should be kept out of the house if you have children under the age of five. Not only can they cause digestive tract issues, but some can even be fatal if ingested.
If you think your child has eaten something poisonous, call the poison control center at 1-800-222-1222 or get them to the hospital immediately. Also, keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be a liquid chemical that is ingested. Foreign bodies such as swallowing a penny, Legos, or the silica gel pack commonly found in new purses or shoes are not only choking hazards but need to continue to be monitored via X-ray after ingestion. Batteries and high-powered magnets can also be very dangerous.