Efforts by individuals, communities and government agencies around the world have reduced a number of poison related deaths. Families too have a role to play in further reducing poison related accidents. The first step would be to look at how you plan to handle such an emergency when it occurs.
The most important thing would be to list the phone numbers for the local poison center(s), your physician and nurse close to the phone. If there are visually impaired family members, color-code medication bottles and keep all medicines in containers that are child-resistant. Make sure old medicines are destroyed or flushed down the toilet.
Harmful or poisonous plants should be kept out of the children’s reach and children must be taught not to eat any fresh or prepared foods that look or smell spoiled. Mixing caustic products and other household products should be avoided because dangerous reactions may occur.
Cosmetics, shampoos and alcohol beverages should be stored out of children’s reach and in a safe place with safety latches especially if it is in the cabinet. Toys, paint or finish on furniture should be checked to make sure it is non-toxic. Some houses have furnaces and if you live in such a house, it is very helpful to have it professionally inspected each year.
Vents and chimneys should be kept clear of debris and checked regularly at least every season or seasonally. When operating cars, motorized equipment or charcoal gas grills, do it in open spaces and not enclosed ones. If possible install carbon monoxide detectors in your home.
Insecticides, cleaning products and corrosives should be stored safely in the areas of the house where children cannot reach them. It’s also a good idea to keep emergency drugs in the house but only administer when recommended by the physician or the poison control center and related authorities.
Do not hesitate to call the physician, nurse or poison control center with any questions. Remember that the availability of inhalants on the shelves in the house may provide the opportunity for children to sniff or huff these dangerous substances.
In conclusion, a person who is familiar with the things around them is unlikely to experience poisoning related accidents if preventive measures are in place and reinforced correctly.