• Bathroom Poison Safety

All medicines, whether prescription or purchased over-the-counter, are dangerous if used improperly and potentially poisonous to people of all ages. Yet according to The State of Home Safety in America® Report, 82 percent of families report that medications are left unsecured. Household cleaners, some cosmetics and other everyday items can pose a poison risk for children. Consider the following safety advice when handling and storing medications and other potentially hazardous products:

  • Vitamins, supplements, aspirin and other over-the-counter remedies, as well as most prescription medicines, should be purchased with child-resistant closures. Child-resistant packaging has been shown to help protect children from poisoning.

  • Lock medicines and medical supplies, including personal syringes, in a medicine cabinet or other locking cabinet and secure the key.

  • Do not store medicines inside purses, nightstand drawers, or other locations easily accessed by children.

  • Capsules, tablets and liquid medications look alike and may also look similar to other dangerous products. If medications become separated from their original containers, don't assume it is safe to use them. It is too risky to consume or use unidentified medications.

  • Flush all unidentified and out-of-date medicines down the toilet. As medicines age, the chemicals inside them can change. Rinse the container well and discard it.

  • Store all medicines in their original containers with the original labels intact. Prescription medicines may or may not list ingredients. In an emergency, the prescription number on the label will allow rapid identification of ingredients by your pharmacist.

  • Treat all medicines and supplements as potential poisons, especially to young children.

  • Cosmetics and other personal care products can be highly toxic if consumed and some contain caustic ingredients that can harm skin and eyes. Read all product packaging carefully and follow use and storage instructions.

  • Use child safety locks on all cabinets where you store medicines, cosmetics and personal care products.

  • If you provide care for someone who uses medications, carefully dispense the medicines and keep track of doses to ensure compliance with the prescription or medical recommendation.


  • Poison Safety in the Garage

The garage is often a place for home improvement projects and chemical storage - and a place where some chemicals that can cause the most harm to children, such as pesticides, gasoline and automotive fluids are often stored. To help keep your family safe from one of the leading causes of home injuries, you need to keep safety at the top of mind when handling poisons and chemicals in your garage:

  • In homes with young children, child-resistant caps should be kept on dangerous products, including those stored in the garage. Ideally, a locking cabinet should be used to store items such as pesticides, automotive fluids, charcoal lighter fluid, paint thinner, antifreeze, ice-melting products, and turpentine.

  • Store all products in original containers and keep original labels legible.

  • In homes with young children, it is safest to store all dangerous products out of sight and reach - or better yet, locked up.

  • Never transfer dangerous products to glass jars, pop bottles, or other containers. Many products look alike. In addition to the risk of the products being mistakenly consumed or otherwise improperly used, the containers may leak or break and it is easy to forget what product was placed in which container.

  • Store only a small amount of gasoline in the garage or shed, out of the reach of children, and always in an approved vented container designed and labeled for gasoline. Because of its highly volatile flammable vapors, gasoline must never be brought indoors, even in small amounts.

  • Use a siphon hose if you must transfer gasoline; never try to siphon gasoline or other fuels by mouth.

  • To prevent carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, never use a barbecue or grill or keep a generator running in a garage. Always pull the car out of the garage after starting it. CO can enter the home if cars are left running in the garage, even with the garage door open.

  • Outdoor Chemicals and Poison Hazards

According to the State of Home Safety in America (2002, household chemicals caused more than 45,000 emergency room visits in a single year. Many families store chemicals and cleaning supplies in a garage or basement, and while those may not be high traffic areas for family members, it is important to store and handle chemicals correctly, wherever they are. Use the following guidelines when storing and handling dangerous products, including gasoline, pool chemicals and pesticides:

  • Use child-resistant caps on dangerous products, including those stored in the garage, such as pesticides, automotive fluids, charcoal lighter, paint thinner, antifreeze, and turpentine. Ideally, hazardous products should be stored in a locking cabinet.

  • Store all products in their original containers and in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations.

  • When using harsh products follow safety recommendations, such as wearing gloves and masks. Do not mix products together because their contents could react together with dangerous results.

  • Never transfer poisonous or caustic products to drinking glasses, pop bottles, or other food containers, which could be mistaken and the contents consumed.

  • Make sure all chemicals are stored in their original containers according to manufacturer's recommendations.

  • Store only a small amount of gasoline, in a garage or shed, and always in an approved, vented container designed and labeled for gasoline. Because of its highly volatile flammable vapors, gasoline must never be brought indoors.

  • Read the use and storage directions before using products. Original labels on product containers often give important first-aid information.

  • Pesticides are extremely hazardous - consider substituting non-poisonous insecticides whenever possible.

  • Mix insect sprays outdoors, away from areas used by your family and pets.

  • Store and use pool chemicals according to the manufacturer's directions, always in tightly covered original containers, in a dry place. Keep these away from other chemicals and products.