March 19-25th is Poison Prevention Week which is focused on raising awareness of poison prevention and the Poison Hotline 1-800-222-1222
- Store cleaning products and chemicals out of sight and reach of children.
- Always store cleaning products in their original containers. The transfer of cleaners, pesticides or auto fluids to food or soda containers has caused some of the most serious poisonings in unsuspecting victims.
- Don’t mix cleaning products unless the label directs you to. Toxic gases may form. Never mix bleach with a cleaner that contains ammonia (generates chloramine gas) or a cleaner that contains an acid (generates chlorine gas).
- Always keep detergent containers closed, sealed and stored out of reach and sight from children
- Don’t handle products with wet hands
- If a child wants to help with the laundry, never allow them to handle laundry detergent or laundry detergent packets.
- Always read the directions on the labels
- Turn on fans and open windows while using any type of cleaning product
- Be especially careful with oven cleaners, drain openers, toilet bowl cleaners and rust removers. These caustics burn on skin or eye contact and are among the most dangerous products found in homes. Always keep them away from children – up high and locked away!
There are some first aid measures for poisonings that make a difference if accomplished within seconds to minutes of a poison exposure. Be familiar with the information below from poison.org.
Call 911 right away if the individual collapses, has a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can’t be awakened.
Drink a small amount of water or milk immediately if:
- The product swallowed is burning, irritating or caustic, AND
- The person is conscious, not having convulsions, and able to swallow.
It’s important that you move to fresh air immediately. Stay away from all toxic fumes and gases. If you can do so safely, thoroughly ventilate the area that is involved. After moving to fresh air, call Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222 or use POISONCONTROL to get specific recommendations online.
It’s important that you irrigate (rinse the exposed eyes) immediately. Every second matters and a delay could result in loss of sight. Remove contact lenses. Use lots of room temperature water and irrigate for at least 15 to 20 minutes. Adults and older children may find it easier to hop in the shower. Wrap young children in a towel and let water from the faucet in the kitchen sink run over the eye – or slowly pour water from a pitcher. Let the water hit the bridge of the nose and gently run into the eyes rather than pouring the water directly into the eye. Important: Irrigate for at least 15 to 20 minutes. Encourage blinking.
It’s important that you rinse the exposed skin immediately. Remove contaminated clothing first (that’s clothing with a spill). Every second matters. Don’t delay. Use lots of room temperature running water and rinse for at least 15 minutes. For large spills, adults and older children may find it easiest to hop in the shower. Mild hand soap can be used to remove material that sticks to the skin. Important: Rinse for at least 15 minutes. After the 15 minute rinse, call Poison Control for additional guidance. If blistering, large or deep burns, pain, redness, or swelling worsen or persist, you will need to see a doctor right away. But first call the poison specialists at Poison Control to see whether a trip to an urgicenter or emergency room is urgent or necessary. If the symptoms are severe, go straight to an emergency room after rinsing. Don’t wait.
There are two ways of contacting Poison Control, either by phone at 1-800-222-1222 OR online at Poison.Org