Home Poison Safety & Prevention Tips for Your Family

Dashia Starr
Updated Mar 20, 2020
1 min read

Poisonous home products are often hidden in plain sight and could quickly cause harm without warning. We’re here to remind you that some of the most dangerous home products are out in the open at your home. This guide will tell you what to watch out for and how to respond to home poison emergencies so you’re always prepared.

Most Poisonous Household Products

Poisons are easy to swallow, inhale and absorb without notice. Some of the most commonly used home products can be the most poisonous and deadly if consumed. Here’s a short list:

  • Laundry detergent packets 
  • Hand sanitizer 
  • Pain medications 
  • Oils of any sort 
  • Cleaning supplies and disinfectants 
  • Bug sprays 

But, that’s not all. It’s easy to come in contact with poisonous products in other ways – especially for kids. It’s as easy as touching chemicals, then putting your hands in your mouth for any reason. The American Association of Poison Control Centers also warns families not to rub their eyes after coming in contact with surfaces with chemicals. And most importantly, don’t breathe in toxic fumes. 

Take Precautions When Handling Poisonous Products

Fortunately, there are a few precautions you can take to avoid poison dangers. 

  • Never mix chemicals because it can create toxic fumes. 
  • Always follow label instructions when it comes to use and storage. 
  • Never replace the containers for your products so you have the expiration date, instructions and labels in case of an emergency. 
  • Keep all products out of children’s reach and use childproof locks where chemicals are stored. 
  • Use child-resistant packaging after each use.

Always Handle Medication Safely

When medicine falls into the wrong hands, it can become very dangerous – especially for children. Here’s what you can do to lessen the risk. 

  • Keep all medicine in a cabinet out of reach of kids and use a lock. 
  • Never leave any medication on the counter, even if you’re stepping away for just a moment. 
  • If you keep medicine in bags or purses, keep them high and out of sight. 
  • Kidshealth.org is also advising adults not to tell children that medicine tastes like candy. It might entice them to get their hands on it when they shouldn’t.  

When you need to dispose of medicine, you must do so safely to avoid putting others at risk. Some pharmacies have a ‘take back’ option for you to safely return medicine you no longer need. If that option isn’t available experts recommend flushing the medicine. Lastly, if that method doesn’t work, place the medicine in a bag with contents and fill it with dirt, cat litter or other content to make it unrecognizable and uninviting to kids. Throw the bag in the trash and scratch out your information on the empty pill bottle before throwing it away.

Hidden Dangers of House Plants

You may love your house plants as much as your pets, but some greenery and flowers are poisonous. If pets nibble on poisonous leaves they could face serious illness such as kidney and liver failure. Here are the plants to watch out for: 

  • Easter Lilies 
  • English Lilies
  • Peace Lilies
  • Philodendrons 

If you’re not sure if your house plant is poisonous check with your local nursery or online. 

You should also be just as careful when caring for plants. Some plants require you to wear gloves because contact could lead to skin irritation. If kids consume some leaves it could lead to vomiting, diarrhea and other serious conditions.

Beware of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a poisonous, odorless, colorless gas that can be deadly if not detected. It’s commonly found in cars, homes, grills and furnaces if not careful. It’s best to install a carbon monoxide detector in your home and change the batteries each time you change your clocks. The Center for Disease Control shared a few recommendations to reduce the risk. 

  • Never use a gas oven for heating. 
  • Clean your chimney at least once a year. 
  • Never burn charcoal inside your home. 
  • Don’t leave your car running in a garage attached to a house. 
  • Make sure your heating and other gas home appliances checked annually. 
  • Check for the national testing agency label anytime you buy gas equipment. 
  • Avoid using a generator inside your home.

Responding to Poisonous Emergencies

If you think you or a loved one has come in contact with something poisonous, first call 9-1-1 for immediate emergency attention. Next, call the National Poison Control Center (NPCC) at (800) 222-1222. Do not consume food or drinks until given the okay by doctors or the NPPC.

Home Security Writer

Dashia Starr

Dashia researches and writes on all things home automation and security. She focuses on the latest news, products, and providers to share only the best with you.

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