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Beware of these common household items that could poison your child - Steve Farzam

Beware of These Common Household Items That Could Poison Your Child

In the United States, there are two children that die and more than 300 children under the age of 19 that are treated in emergency rooms everyday due to unintentional poisoning. While many of the chemicals used in the home are labeled with clear warning labels, there are everyday household items without labels that can pose a serious hazard to children as well. Beware of these common household items and ensure they are secure in your home.

Cosmetics and Personal Care

According to a 2016 report from the National Capital Poison Center, cosmetics and personal care products are the number one culprits of unintentional poisoning of children. Keep your makeup, skin-care and hair-care products, nail polish remover, and other toiletries in a cabinet or drawer where your child can’t reach them. Take extra precaution and add child locks to any cabinets they may be able to access.

Medication

All medication and pharmaceuticals, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and supplements should be stored in their original container, out of reach of your child. Again, take extra precaution and add child locks to any cabinets they may be able to access. There is no such thing as a 100% child-proof lock or container, so be sure to keep these out of reach and dispose of unused, unneeded, or expired medication safely. You can do this by mixing them with coffee ground or kitty litter or turn them in at a local take-back program.

Household Cleaners

Bleach and drain cleaner are two of the most common household cleaners that can be fatal to children should they gain access to them. All household cleaners, including laundry and dishwasher detergent, should be stored in a cabinet with a lock or on a high shelf. While it might be more convenient to keep these close to or under the sink, these products contain an abundance of chemicals that can easily poison your child should they come across it. Also, keep them in their original containers, which often contain a childproof closure.

Topical Preparations

Items such as diaper rash creams, lotions, acne medications, camphor-based ointments like calamine – all of these products are poisonous if they are ingested. After every use of these items, ensure you are storing them where they cannot be reached by your child. Additionally, after every diaper change, put your diaper changing products out of your child’s reach.

Toys and Small Items

Toys with batteries, silica gel packets found inside shoe boxes, holiday decorations, coins, bubbles, and arts and crafts are just a selection of items that can be poisonous to your child. Supervise them when they are using arts and craft supplies and keep away batteries and small magnets.

Steve Farzam

First Aid Tips for Parents

One of the most stressful parts about being a parent is dealing with a child’s injuries. While your children may get banged up pretty often, knowing just a few first aid tips can help.

Treating an Open Cut or Scrape

A bleeding wound can be among the most alarming, but cleaning the area with soap and warm water often reveals that the wound isn’t as bad as it first seemed. After it has been cleaned, dab the area with a clean cloth until the bleeding stops. In some cases, treat the injury with an antibiotic ointment or spray and dress it in a clean bandage. If the wound doesn’t stop bleeding after a few minutes, you should take your child to an emergency room.

In either case, clean the wound every day and apply a new sampling of antibiotics. Dress it in a fresh bandage. If the wound was serious, your child may be hospitalized and caregivers will take care of redressing the wound.

Treating Burns Quickly is Vital

As soon as your child comes to you with a burn, stop the burn, rinse the affected area under cool running water. Otherwise, you can wet a washcloth with cold water and apply that to the burn. Either way, continue to cool the area until the pain subsides. Dress in a clean, loosely wrapped bandage. In cases where the burn covers more than one-quarter of an inch or is more severe, presenting with white or brown skin, take your child to the emergency room for treatment.

Similarly, if the burns are on the face, genitals, or hands, your child needs to see a doctor immediately. While waiting for an ambulance, covering your child with a clean sheet or sterile gauze can help reduce the risk of infection.

After the initial treatment, monitor your child for infection. If blisters pop of their own accord or the skin breaks, treat with an antibiotic solution and cover with a clean, loosely fitted bandage. Swelling, redness, discharge, or tenderness are signs of infection and require immediate treatment from a doctor.

The key to treating any injury to your child is to clean the affected area and keep it covered to prevent infection. In cases of insect stings and small splinters, remove the foreign object, before cleaning the wound. Where the debris is larger and deeper, such as a shard of glass, clean around the wound and leave intact, until a trained caregiver can determine the best course of action. While some injuries may be minor and can be treated at home, more severe injuries require immediate and professional medical attention.