It's the time of year again for spring cleaning! As you develop your plan of attack for cleaning indoors and out, be sure to add "safety" to the top of your checklist and consider how to poison proof these key areas of your home.
- KITCHEN & BATHROOM: Be sure to keep cleansers out of reach of your children and pets; oven cleaners and drain openers are especially toxic. Often brightly colored or scented, children can mistake bottled cleaners for fruit drinks. Over-the-counter and prescription medications should also be secured and out of reach. Poisoning from common household chemicals and medications can be deadly, yet it is one of the easiest to prevent.
- UTILITY ROOM: Increasingly popular because of their convenience, laundry detergent packets can be dangerous and should be kept out of the reach of children. Last year, more than 6,000 children were poisoned by exposure to these packets that contain highly concentrated detergent. Symptoms range from excessive vomiting to gasping for air and needing a ventilator to breathe. The colorful packets may look like candy to kids, but they can be deadly. Just in case the unthinkable happens, be sure to have the Poison Control Center's phone number — 800.222.1222 — saved in your contacts list.
- GARAGE & GARDEN: Hazardous items such as gasoline, paint, bug spray, antifreeze, and pesticides should be out of the reach of both children and pets. Garden equipment and other tools should be stored safely out of the way to help prevent injuries. Consider investing in a storage system for your garage or garden shed to organize items and tools before they become a danger zone. Check out these helpful tips for how to find and eliminate the hidden dangers in your garage.