Childproofing Cabinets For Poison Control

Childproofing Cabinets For Poison Control bb3 May 30, 2014

By Staff Writer

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You want to be able to guide your child safely as they curiously explore their infancy. Even with the most vigilant parents, however, young children under the age of five can still ingest poisonous substances accidentally. Every year, poison control centers report almost a million cases of children in infancy that are exposed to hazardous medicines and household chemicals. For this reason, itís best to complement your supervision with childproofing devices.

Cabinet safety latches in the kitchen, bathroom, laundry room and garage can greatly reduce the risk of your childís exposure to potential poisons. Although they are not 100 percent foolproof, take the necessary precautions to help limit the possibility of an accidental poisoning.

  • Prescription and over-the-counter medicines
  • Vitamins and supplements (especially iron pills)
  • Household cleaning substances
  • Insect spray
  • Kerosene and lighter fluid
  • Furniture polish
  • Paint and turpentine
  • Solvents and products containing lye or other acids

Itís a good idea to keep your medicines and household cleaners in a cabinet high out of your childís reach, but realize children can often climb onto countertops, tables, chairs, and find any means necessary to get up exactly where you didnít think they could go. Using add-on plastic catches that can be attached to a cabinet door or drawer will restrict them to opening it a few inches or less, and keep the poison from getting into their hands. To release the door or drawer, an adult must press the plastic catch.

At some point, however, many toddlers can figure out how to press the catch and get into the cabinet or drawer. To help delay this, never let your child see how you open a child-resistant lock.

Medicine Cabinets

You can further reduce the risk of accidental poisoning by attaching a safety latch to your medicine cabinet. Practice these medication safety tips to keep children from getting into the bottles behind the bathroom mirror:

  • When distributing medication to young children, donít ever refer to the pills as ďcandy.Ē
  • Donít take vitamins or medication in a childís presence, as children like to mimic adult behavior.
  • Periodically clean out your medicine cabinet to remove old medication youíre no longer taking.
  • Most prescription medicine bottles from the pharmacy are child tamper-proof, but remember to buy only those over-the-counter drugs with such tops on their containers.

What To Do If Your Child Is Accidentally Poisoned

If your child is exhibiting life-threatening symptoms (he/she collapses, stops breathing or is having seizures), call 9-1-1 immediately. If you suspect your child has possibly ingested, touched or breathed a poisonous substance, but is not exhibiting life-threatening symptoms, immediately contact your provincial poison control center.