7 Tips to Prevent Poisoning at Home

Five white plastic chemical bottles with chemical warning labels and a pair of red rubber gloves, isolated on a solid white background. These chemical bottles are labeled with various hazardous chemical warnings and contain industrial-strength cleaning solutions. The red rubber gloves are protective gear used to handle these chemicals safely. Ideal for use in industrial, manufacturing, or laboratory environments.

According to the American association for poison control, “Each year, more than 90% of exposures reported to local poison control centers occur in the home.” National Poison Prevention week occurs March 15-21 this year. To bring awareness to harmful hazards around the house, we’ve complied 7 tips to help protect against poisoning at home. Here are some ways you can keep your family, friends, and yourself safe at home:

1. Be Smart About Storage

Young baby girl exploring the cleaning cabinet under the sink, a potentially dangerous area for young children. This image serves as a reminder to secure all potentially hazardous household items and keep them out of reach of curious children.

Children like to explore and get into things they aren’t supposed to, like lower cabinets. If you store household products in lower cabinets, use child safety locks. Make sure lids are put on tight or turned to off when not in use. It is best to store household products up and out of sight in a cabinet where a child cannot reach them.

2. Remember, You Are Not a Chemist

A gallon-size white chemical bottle being poured out of the bottle. There is a blue background. The chemical liquid appears to be flowing smoothly out of the bottle. The image depicts the use of industrial-strength cleaning chemicals and highlights the potential hazards associated with their use.

Mixing cleaning chemicals is often dangerous. For example, mixing bleach and ammonia results in toxic gases. Therefore, leave the mixing to the chemists and never mix household products together.

3. Protect Your Skin and Eyes

A woman wearing a white shirt and jeans is cleaning her kitchen counter using chemicals. She is wearing bright yellow rubber gloves to protect her hands from the cleaning solutions. The woman is standing in front of her kitchen counter and appears to be scrubbing it thoroughly with a cleaning cloth. There are various cleaning supplies and chemical bottles visible on the counter in front of her.

Exposure to chemicals can lead to skin burns and rashes. Therefore, if you spray pesticides or other chemicals, wear protective clothing like, gloves, long sleeves, long pants, socks, and shoes.

4. Vent the Area You're Working In

A man wearing a green flannel shirt, khaki pants, and a brown belt is seen in front of a partially open window. The window has wooden blinds on one side and a partially opened pane on the other side.

Inhaling chemical fumes can lead to serious respiratory problems. Open windows and turn on the fan while using chemicals, especially in small spaces.

5. Protect Against Invisible Threats

An image depicts five smoke alarms/carbon monoxide alarms arranged in a line on a wooden floor. Each alarm is small and white with a circular shape. The alarms have a test button and a red or green light to indicate the alarm status.

Carbon monoxide is an odorless and colorless gas that causes severe illness and even death. Exposure occurs the most in winter months and during power outages. Install carbon monoxide detectors in your home, to help protect your family.

6. Creativity Can Spell Disaster

1 plastic cups filled with brightly colored children's acrylic paint and paint brushes in each cup. The cups are arranged on a white background and are evenly spaced. The paint colors include red, blue, green, yellow, purple, pink, orange, and black. The image is brightly lit, showcasing the vivid colors of the paint. The paint brushes are visible in each cup, with the bristles standing upright.

Chemicals can be found in almost everything, even kids’ art supplies. Some supplies are toxic and can be dangerous if they are ingested. Follow directions, and use supplies correctly. Store supplies out of reach of children and animals, when they are not being used.

Keep Your Furry Friends Safe

A French bulldog standing on its hind legs with its front paws on a kitchen counter. The dog is looking at a bowl of biscuits left out by its owner, which is visible in the foreground of the image. There is also a cup of coffee and a notebook on the counter.

Bouquets are pretty and can be pretty toxic to animals if they contain lilies or daffodils. Left-over food is also dangerous to animals, and they will dig in the trash to get to them. So keep your flowers up on tables or counters, and put a lid on your trashcan or keep it behind closed door. Outdoor gardens can also contain wild plants dangerous to dogs and cats. Find out which plants to look for with this helpful Poisonous Plants to Dogs and Cats Guide.

Always take precaution when handling harmful chemicals and keep loved ones safe by putting chemicals out of reach of children and animals. If you think someone or a pet may have ingested something harmful, take action immediately. Call the poison helpline at 1-800-222-1222 and go to your local hospital.


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