Although you may think that your family is properly protected against the dangers of household poisons, accidents can still occur. To keep these problems at bay, it’s important to take extra precautions when storing and handling potentially poisonous items—including household cleaners, medications, and appliances that could release harmful fumes—in your home.
Use the following guidance to help protect your family from household poisoning risks.
Safeguarding Your Home: Minimizing Household Poison Risks
- Store harmful products out of the kitchen and away from food and drinks.
- Place child-resistant caps on dangerous products stored outside and store them in a locked cabinet.
- Hire a service person to inspect your heater, stove, and fireplace every year to make sure that they are in good working order.
- Place carbon monoxide detectors on all levels of your home and test them frequently.
- Read product labels when purchasing new items. If they contain the words “caution,” “warning,” or “danger,” be extra cautious when storing and using them.
- Remove medications from purses and low drawers that are potentially accessible to children. Keep all medications in an organized medicine cabinet.
- Keep chemicals and products in their original packaging with labels containing usage and handling instructions. Do not transfer poisonous chemicals into kitchen glasses, soda bottles, or other food containers.
- Flush unwanted chemicals down the toilet. To dispose of unwanted or expired medications, mix them with coffee grounds or kitty litter and place them in an airtight bag that can be sealed shut.
- Consider using non-poisonous insecticides instead of pesticides, which are hazardous to humans, pets, and the environment.
- If you need to mix insect sprays, do so outside and away from pets and other family members.
Avoiding Household Poisons: Hazardous Products
A variety of household products contain dangerous chemicals with the potential to harm you or your family’s health. Therefore, it is important to use these products safely and to keep them out of reach of children.
Which Products Are Dangerous?
These household products are just a few of the chemicals that pose a danger to you and your family if they are inhaled:
• Gasoline and lighter fluid
• Spray paint, paint thinners, and removers
• Glues and adhesives
• Permanent markers
• Hair spray and nail polish remover
• Household cleaners
In Case of an Emergency
Be sure to always have the Poison Control Center contact information readily available in your home in case of an emergency. Calling the number 1-800-222-1222 will connect you to local poison control assistance in your area.