Parents and caregivers should take a serious look at what they can do to ensure poisonous materials stay out of reach of little hands. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, about 90,000 children are treated in emergency rooms across the country each year due to poison exposure. Most of the time this happens in their own homes.
Medications and cleaning supplies are clear hazards that most parents know to lock away, but there are more seemingly innocuous things that can be seriously dangerous, like tiny batteries found in remotes, musical greeting cards and toys that when swallowed can cause an acid burn within minutes.
“Child-resistant caps on medicine and cleaning products have saved thousands of lives, but there is still more we can do to safeguard and prevent children from being exposed to poisons in the home,” said CPSC Acting Chairman Robert Adler. “A few simple and inexpensive precautions can mean the difference between a child’s life or death.”
Parents are urged to identify products that have small batteries and make sure they’re out of a child’s sight and reach. Another newly emerging hazard is single-load liquid laundry packets. CPSC has given several warnings because these highly-concentrated packets have led to thousands of kids being treated in ERs. Children are swallowing them, and in some cases have died.
CSPS is also asking parents to vigilant when it comes to minimizing the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. The colorless, odorless gas is created by fuel-burning products, like generators, furnaces and vehicles. Exposure to this gas within a small space can be fatal within minutes. Carbon monoxide detectors should be placed in every level of the home.
CSPS has created an online poison prevention education center to help parents reduce the risk of unintentional poisonings in their home.