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Take These Simple Steps to Prevent Poisoning in Your Home

By Chris Williams on March 21, 2014.

Poison Prevention WeekIt’s National Poison Prevention Week (March 16-22) and the National Environmental Protection Agency wants to get the word out.

In particular, EPA wants to point out the dangers of removing pesticides and other household chemicals from their original containers and then storing them in bottles or cans that look like beverages. In California alone, between 1998-2009, more than 1,400 reported cases of poisoning were caused by storage of non-food substances in soda bottles, unmarked bottles, cups, or glasses.

Poison Control Centers answer one call every 8 seconds. About half of the calls involve poisoning in children under 6 years of age. We all know how inquisitive young children are, yet we are in the habit of placing dangerous chemicals under the easily reached kitchen or bathroom sinks, or on garage shelves. Everyone should lock up pesticides and household chemicals out of children’s reach, preferably in a high cabinet.

Prevent Accidental Poisoning By Doing the Following:

  • Post the Poison Control Centers’ national helpline number (1-800-222-1222) near your phone.
  • Program the number into your phone’s “address book” or speed dial feature.
  • Read the product label first and follow the directions to the letter.
  • Never transfer pesticides and other household chemical products to other containers, particularly those that may be mistaken for food or drink.
  • Don’t use empty pesticide containers to store anything else. No matter how well you wash the container, it could still contain residues of the pesticide and could harm someone.
  • Seal products after each use and store up and out of children’s reach.
  • Use products with tamper-resistant bait stations to protect children and pets from exposure to mouse and rat poison.
  • Remove children, pets, and toys before applying pesticides (inside or outside of the home). Read label directions to determine when children and pets can re-enter the treated area.

Photo credit: National Poison Prevention Week Council / Foter / Public Domain Mark 1.0

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