Following a recent case of accidental poisonings of children at a daycare in Arkansas, who were mistakenly served blue windshield-wiper fluid as Kool-Aid, Los Angeles County health officials are reminding residents to assess and ensure the safety of their homes.
The warning comes during National Poison Prevention Week.
Officials want residents to check their kitchens, bathrooms and garages for hazards, such as improperly stored or labeled chemicals.
“More than 90 percent of poisonings occur in the home, and the majority of these occur in children younger than six years old,” said Jonathan E. Fielding, director of public health. “These tragic incidents can be avoided with simple, preventive steps such as keeping all medication, cleaning products and other household chemicals locked away in a secure cabinet.”
Other tips for keeping homes safe include:
• Be careful of look-alikes: many household cleaners, such as
window cleaner or antifreeze, can be bright colors, and may be easily mistaken for fruit or sports drinks. Make sure cleaning products are kept out of the kitchen and away from children.
• Keep cleaning or other products in their original containers to make it easier to identify.
• Double-check medications before giving them to children or taking them yourself.
• Use child-resistant packaging properly by closing the container securely after each use.
• Keep a well-stocked first aid kit with emergency instructions inside. Keep in mind that the American Academy of Pediatrics no longer recommends keeping a bottle of ipecac syrup at home to induce vomiting. Instead, always keep the phone number for your doctor, and the phone number for the California Poison Control System Action Line (1-800-222-1222) near your home phone.
For more information or questions about all poisonings, contact the California Poison Control System’s Action Line at: (800) 222-1222 or at www.calpoison.org/. The toll-free number is available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, and 365 days per year from any telephone. Language translators are available by request to assist any caller.