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Protecting Kids from Poisonous Products: May 1, 2019

Whether it’s bleach, dishwasher tablets, medications, even makeup, Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida child advocacy program coordinator Sally Kreuscher says many families don’t realize that these items are within a child’s reach. “You want to store all household products out of children’s sight and reach. Unfortunately, kids are curious, and they are going to get into things.”

She recommends installing child safety locks on cabinets where you keep cleaning products and medications. “Keep cleaning products in their original containers and throw away old medications and other potential poisons,” said Kreuscher.

Studies show 36 percent of incidents happen when potentially dangerous products are put into different containers—making it important to keep things like household cleaners in their original bottles. “There are many things that look alike, comet and parmesan cheese or laxatives and chocolate,” she said.

Things like water and rubbing alcohol—and gum and Nicotine gum, can all look alike to kids. Even items like dishwasher tablets which are small and colorful can look like candy to children. “It dissolves quickly and could be potentially hazardous, so we want those products kept up and out of the reach of kids,” said Kreuscher.

It’s also important to remind children that medicine is not candy and should only be given to them by an adult. “Unfortunately, so many kids end up taking their parents or grandparents or relatives medication, and that’s when they come to visit us,” she said.

Knowing what items are in your home and keeping potentially dangerous products away from children can be lifesaving.


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