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Protect children and pets from household poisons

If you have young children or pets, you know they like to explore. That is why it is crucial that household cleaners, pesticides and other harmful chemicals are stored safely away from little hands and paws.

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A room-by-room safety checklist

The Environmental Protection Agency recommends keeping hazardous products in their original containers and following label instructions and precautions. Parents and caregivers should go through each room to ensure harmful products are kept out of reach of children and pets and/or are locked in childproof cabinets.

  • Bathroom: toilet bowl cleaner, disinfectants, tile cleaner, mold and mildew removers, bleach, mouthwash, cosmetics, makeup and nail polish removers, hair sprays, personal hygiene products, flea and tick shampoos
  • Kitchen: dishwashing detergent, drain cleaners, cleaning liquids, ammonia, floor wax, furniture polish, window cleaner, bug spray; never store pesticides near food
  • Bedroom: mothballs, colognes, medications
  • Living room: ant, rodent or roach baits, plants that are poisonous to pets (the ASPCA provides a list at www.aspca.org, or check with your veterinarian)
  • Laundry room: laundry detergents, bleach, fabric softener
  • Garage: gasoline, kerosene, car wax and soaps, windshield washer fluid, antifreeze substances (antifreeze tastes sweet to dogs and cats, so clean up spills immediately), paint, pesticide sprays, weed killers

When using hazardous products or handling medications, do not leave children or pets unattended, especially if you need to answer the door or phone. Store products immediately after you are done using them. Consider using nontoxic cleaning products when possible.

It is also important to know poison control hotlines and when to call for help.

     • Poison Control Center (24 hours a day):

      1 (800) 222-1222

     • ASPCA pet emergency poison hotline (24 hours a day):

      1 (888) 426-4435

         Call 911 if the child is:

  • drowsy or unconscious
  • having difficulty breathing or not breathing
  • extremely restless or agitated
  • having seizures

Be prepared to give your child’s age and weight, the time of the poison exposure and the type of poison (have the container with you, if possible). Check the label for accidental poisoning instructions.


Emergency Center opens!


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Baptist Beaumont Hospital’s new Children’s Emergency Center is opening in April 2013. The center boasts five treatment rooms and a designated child-friendly area. We are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and staffed with nurses who have special pediatric emergency training, as well as a Child Life Specialist. Look for more information about the center in the next issue of Healthy Dose. To learn more, visit www.bhset.net.



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