Safety in the Home

Estimated Reading Time 2 Minutes

How Can I Prevent Poisoning?
Lots of ordinary things in our homes can poison a child. Medicines, vitamins, plants, cosmetics, home cleaning products, pesticides, paints and paint thinners, gasoline, antifreeze, alcohol and cigarettes can all cause poisoning.

  • Medicine is the most common cause of poisoning in children.
  • Lock up your medicine and cleaning products, including camphor, pesticides and iron vitamin supplements. Just a few strong iron pills can kill a child.
  • Some products have child-resistant safety caps. These caps are helpful but not child-proof. It is safer to lock up all dangerous products, or put them where you know your child can’t reach them.
  • Keep all cigarettes, butts and ashtrays away from children. One swallowed unsmoked cigarette or just two cigarette butts can make your child sick.
  • Do not use cleaning products when children are close by. Many children are poisoned with cleaning products while a parent is using them. For example, a child might eat or inhale oven cleaner while you are cleaning the oven.
  • Keep products in their own containers. Make sure they are clearly labelled.
  • Learn to recognize poisonous household plants.
  • Do not take medicine in front of your child. Your child may try to copy you.
  • Watch your child when you visit other people’s homes. They may not keep their dangerous products locked up or out of reach, especially if they don’t have children. EY

For more information call:

  • Local Poison Control Centre (the number is in your local phone book)
  • Ontario Regional Poison

Control Centres:
The Hospital for Sick Children
416-813-5900 or toll-free

Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario
613-737-1100 or toll-free

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