Chemicals, medicines and poisons can be found all over any household. Children's hands keep very busy, and curious containers are just too hard to resist. Improperly labeled chemicals can be accidentally misused thus creating a health or fire hazard. Please be careful about how these items are used and stored in the household. The following are some helpful hints that may help keep the household safer:
- Keep all household products and medicines in their original, labeled, child resistant containers.
- Lock poisons and medicines out of the reach of small children.
- Always wear appropriate safety equipment when handling chemicals.
- Install safety latches on all drawers or cabinets that contain liquor, chemicals, medicines, or poisons.
- Take time to teach children about poisonous substances. Teach them to alert an adult rather than handle these substance by themselves.
- Know which plants around the house are poisonous. Common houseplants like Rhododendrons, Philodendrons, and Geraniums are poisonous and should be kept out of reach of children and pets.
- Never leave children unattended with household products or medications.
- Never take more than the prescribed dosage of any medication. Consult your doctor if you missed a dose before "double-up" another dose.
- Use child resistant containers for medications.
- Throw out old or expired drugs. Flushing them down the toilet may prevent children from picking them out of the trash later.
- Do not borrow or share prescribed medications.
- Do not mix products, especially cleaning products. Some chemicals when combined may become, flammable, explosive, or toxic.
- Be aware or seasonal changes and holidays that may introduce "new poisons into your household (i.e. Mistletoe during Christmas).
- Thoroughly cook all meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs.
- Do not use canned foods with bulging or cracked lids.
- Thaw meat and poultry in the refrigerator.
- Do not refer to medicines as "candy".
- If you suspect somebody in your household has ingested or been exposed to chemicals, poisons, or overdose of medications, call 911 immediately. For general questions, call the Arizona Poison & Drug Information hotline at 1-800-362-0101.