It is important to be vigilant with children and adults alike around potential household hazards. The numbers are worrying.
Around 180,000 calls are made to Poisons Information Centres in Australia each year and around half of those incidents involve children who’ve come into contact with poisonous, or potentially toxic, substances.
From detergents and toilet cleaners to hand sanitisers and pool chemicals – many everyday household products are a hazard, particularly for younger children.
A recent report from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) found almost 2,500 children are admitted to hospital each year following poisonings.
“The most serious incidents relate to carbon monoxide exposure, button batteries, caustic cleaners such as oven and BBQ cleaners, acids, pool chemicals, household bleaches and herbicides,” says Delia Rickard, ACCC Deputy Chair. “Children under five are most at risk of accidental poisoning, with the risk highest for two-year-olds.”
The ACCC report says injuries from poisons range from skin irritations and eye damage through to severe internal burns.
How to keep your home safe from poisons:
• Store cleaning products in a secure cabinet that children can’t reach.
• Check the kitchen, laundry, bathroom, toilet, garage and garden shed for potential poisons and stow them away securely.
• Keep household chemicals in their original containers – don’t transfer them to used soft drink bottles. Young children could easily mistake poison for pop!
• Read the safety instructions on product labels and follow use and storage directions.
• Always close containers properly so any child resistant features work correctly.
Written by Sarah Marinos