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During the 1970's there was about one million cases of poisoning that occurred in the US with about six thousand deaths. A large percentage are children and about 80 per cent are between of the ages of one and four (Shryock vol.3; 249). According to the report of Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Centre (11 states only) during 1990 – 2001, the death rate from poisoning in the United States increased 56%, from 5.0 per 100,000 population in 1990 to 7.8 in 2001. In 2001, of 22,242 poisoning deaths, 14,078 (63%) were unintentional. A study by the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Centre between 2001 and 2008 found that child-poisonings rose about 28 per cent. And 95 percent were caused by children getting into drugs on their own.

Poison:
  • Cleaning Substances: These include soaps, cleaning solutions, and dish-washing liquid. Chemicals that cause burns are drain cleaners, toilet bowl cleaners, and oven cleaners. Poisons found in the home include bleach, furniture polish, and lighter fluid.
  • Chemicals: These include pesticides, gasoline, windshield washer solutions, antifreeze and paint thinner among others.
  • Medicines: Most medicines can be poisonous as well as over-the-counter medicines. Examples are heat rubs, decongestants, and medicines to treat diarrhoea or constipation. Your child may also find illegal drugs and swallow them. Medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, are involved in two-thirds of unintentional poisonings.
  • Food items: Flavouring or essential oils, such as oil of wintergreen
  • Personal care: Some items include rubbing alcohol, hair products, baby oil and mouthwash.
  • Heavy metals: This could be paint, cosmetics and ink on labels may also contain lead. Mercury may be found in thermometers, batteries, fluorescent light bulbs and thermostats.
Poison Proof your Household
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1. Keep all drugs, poisonous substances and household chemicals out of the reach of children. 

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2. Do not put inedible products on shelves that are used for storing food.


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3. Keep all the poisonous substances in their original containers, do not transfer them to unlabelled containers. Ask the experts how to disposed poisonous substances if you do not know.


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4. When medicines are not needed destroy them or better yet return unused meds to the pharmacy for proper disposal. Do not throw medicine where children or pets can reach them. Never flush them down the toilet.

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5. When giving flavoured brightly coloured medicine to children always refer to it as 
medicine not candy.

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6. Do not give or take medicine in the dark. This should be a no-brainer!


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7. Read labels before using chemical products.


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8. If you have visitor make sure to remind the visitor to keep her purse with drugs out of the reach of the child.

Household area and Accidents:

The kitchen:
It is said there are more poisonings happening in the kitchen, 34%, than any other room in the house.

Bedroom:
About 27 % of all poisoning accidents take place in the bedroom.

The bathroom:
About 15 % of all poisoning accidents happen here.

The living room:
About 9% of poisoning occur here.

The garage, yard or basement:
About 16 % of all accidents happen here.

In Canada, each year it is estimated that 5 Canadian children under 14 die and 1,280 end up in the hospital due to poisoning.




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