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Poisons

50 children a week in Australia are admitted to hospital because of poisoning.

Keeping poisons out of reach of children is not enough. Remember, toddlers like to climb and explore!

  • Never store poisons in containers other than their originals - e.g. never store detergents in old soft drink bottles.
  • Always put medication away safely and immediately after use in a childproof cabinet preferably off the ground and locked. Always keep medicines and poisonous products out of sight of children.
  • When administering children's medication, always read the directions carefully to avoid accidental overdosing.
  • For the times when your children visit, ensure that grandparent's homes are child safe too. Make sure that any caregivers are aware of the Poisons Information Centre telephone number.A
  • Ask for child resistant containers when you buy medicines and household cleaners.
  • Never leave poisonous products within reach of a child, even for a moment. If you are distracted by the phone or doorbell, take the product with you. According to the Poisons Information Centres, children are most often poisoned this way.
  • Never keep medication on counter tops or on bedside tables.
  • Always dispose of old medication properly.

  • Carefully monitor your children in unfamiliar surroundings such as when on holidays or visiting a friends' house. You know their behaviour best - if they start acting differently (suddenly sleepy, slurring their words, etc.) act immediately.

  • Put shopping away immediately. Do not leave it on the floor where a child can easily access it.

  • Any cupboard or cabinet containing potentially harmful poisons should be locked. There is a large range of cupboard locking devices in the market - the main priorty is that they're secure and unlockable by little fingers.

  • Don't take your medication in view of children as little ones like to imitate their parent's behaviour.

  • Ensure that visitors' handbags are kept out of reach of children.

  • When painting, people commonly store painbrushes in cups or jars of turpentine. This can be extremely dangerous because children associate cups and jars with food and drink. Clean brushes immediately after use.

  • If medicines are in 'child proof' containers, or 'blister' packs, it usually means that taking more than the prescribed amount will be dangerous for a child (even if the medicine has been prescribed for the child). Do not put thes medicines in an easier to open container.

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