According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 90% of exposures to poisons occur inside the home. Almost all are preventable, if you follow some simple guidelines.
- Look for the poison label on products you buy. Visually, it’s a skull and cross bones, often (but not always) with the word POISON above it.
- Don’t make assumptions. Sometimes a seemingly innocuous product, like a shampoo, can contain poison or other ingredients which are harmful if swallowed.
- Avoid mixing different cleaning products together. When chemicals are combined, they change. Combining some cleaning products can even create toxic fumes.
- Keep all medication, even the non-prescription kind, out of reach of children. Never leave medicine on the bathroom counter.
- Never use pesticides inside the home unless the product is clearly labeled for indoor use. Then, use only as directed.
- Never use a charcoal grill or barbecue indoors, no matter how well ventilated you think you’ve made it. Doing so can easily cause carbon monoxide poisoning.
One final tip: Pay attention to the expiry date of products, especially cosmetics and cleaning liquids. As chemicals age, they change and can emit harmful fumes.