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Prevent Poisoning @Home

PoisonHelpA poisoning is when someone swallows, breathes, touches or gets splashed in the eye with a substance that can cause sickness or death. Many times the substances in and of themselves are not poisonous. An adult may take an aspirin to ease some pain, but when a two-year-old ingests a handful of pills thinking they're candy, it can result in much more than a headache.

Why is poison prevention at home important?

Shockingly, 90% of all poisonings occur in the home, which is the one environment you'd think people had the most control over. Read on for advice about how you can prevent poisonings in your home and free resources you can download from the American Cleaning Institute.

How can you prevent poisonings?

Poison prevention at home starts with reading the label. Turn on the lights, get your glasses and read the label, even if you use the product all the time. Read on to learn why reading the label is important and other poison prevention tips when using and storing cleaning products at home.

Read and follow the product-label directions. The household cleaning products you use are safe when used and stored according to the directions on the label. Just be sure to read and follow the label directions carefully. Pay particular attention to products whose labels include the words "Caution," "Warning," "Danger" or "Poison" and if you have any questions, call the toll-free number found on most product labels.

Call for help. If you think someone has ingested or otherwise been exposed to a cleaning product call the Poison Help toll-free number 1-800-222-1222. If the person is unconscious or not breathing, call 911.

Do not reuse empty cleaning product containers for toys or crafts. Cleaning product containers are not toys. We encourage parents and teachers to keep cleaning products out of reach of children and pets. So, using cleaning product containers for crafts could send a mixed message to children.

Safety First Do’s & Don’ts

Here are some simple precautions you can share with your friends and family to help prevent poisoning accidents from occurring in your home:

DO...

  • Always read and follow label directions for proper use, storage and disposal.
  • Store cleaning products in an area which is away from food and not accessible to young children or pets.
  • Store products in their original containers and keep the original label intact. Product use and storage, disposal instructions, precautions and first aid instructions vary according to their ingredients. It can be dangerous to use a product incorrectly or to follow the wrong emergency procedures.
  • Put cleaning products away immediately after removing the amount needed for the job. This will limit accessibility to young children and help prevent accidental spills.
  • Keep buckets containing cleaning solutions out of the reach of young children.
  • Properly close all containers, especially those with child-resistant caps.

DON'T...

  • Mix cleaning products. Products which are safe when used alone can sometimes cause dangerous fumes if mixed with other products.
  • Reuse an empty household cleaning product container for any other purpose. The label instructions and precautions for the original product may be inaccurate or dangerous if used for a different product.

Resources

The following materials are free resources you can download from the American Cleaning Institute: