Common Safety Hazards for Small Children, and How to use the Missouri Poison Center Hotline when in Doubt

Common Safety Hazards for Small Children, and How to use the Missouri Poison Center Hotline when in Doubt

Accidental poisoning is inevitable, especially if you have toddlers aged one – three at home. Children are generally curious and exploring everything that is new for them is one of their common habits. Psychiatrists consider it a part of their natural development. That is the way they learn about new things.

Mimicking adult’s actions, opening containers, trying to taste everything or putting things in their mouth are part of their learning.  On the other hand, it can be deleterious for their health. To put it simply, a child is always at a high risk of ingesting poisonous medicines or chemicals if you do not take preventative measures. 

In most cases, children are exposed to these chemicals or poisons because they do not know they are harmful for them. They do not know what is hazardous and what is safe for them.  Here is when parents or their caretakers need to be vigilant about their child’s safety. 

If you have young children, it is important that you keep all the poisonous things out of their reach. Unfortunately, if your toddler has ingested poison or has been administered an inappropriate medicine dose, it is not wise to wait for the effects or symptoms. Immediately call your nearest poison centre hotline to get assistance.  

Poison and Prevention Information (Types of poisons)

E-Cigs and Children

The use of electronic cigarettes (e-Cigs) has become very common. The devices have the shape of real cigarettes, but they come with an electronic battery, liquid nicotine and heater. When you heat the liquid nicotine, it turns into vapors that you can inhale. Although e-cigs are considered better than traditional cigarettes and contain flavorings, they can be extremely dangerous for the kids if swallowed. 

It has concentrated nicotine, which is a chemical compound found in tobacco plant.  Even a small sip of concentrated nicotine can cause poisoning in your child that can lead to tremors, vomiting, sweating and seizure.  

That is why it is important to keep your children away from e-cigs or (anything that contains nicotine or smoke juice). Always store them in their original container.  

Carbon Monoxide (An Invisible Killer)

It is not a novel hazard, but a persistent and poisonous invincible killer. Not only is it dangerous for you children’s health, but also equally deleterious for adults as well.  

If you do not have carbon monoxide alarm installed in your home, get one as soon as possible.  Always keep fuel-burning tools in good shape. Avoid using gasoline-powered tool and grills inside your house. .

Batteries

Apparently there is no connection between poison and batteries, but they can be more dangerous than poison when it comes to child safety.  

A swallowed battery may burn your child’s esophagus in less than two hours. It can lead to surgeries and even death. It has 3-volts lithium nickel and coin cells, which are hazardous and burn faster.  Securing batteries in the compartment and keeping them away from your children’s reach is very important. 

Symptoms of Poisoning 

In case your child has been exposed to significant poisoning, the developed symptoms depend upon different factors such as the type of medicines and the quantity of poison. The common symptoms of poisoning include:

  • Falling over
  • Fitting
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Drowsiness
  • Tummy pain

Ways to Minimize Poison Risks

Place Chemicals in a Secure Place

Cleaning supplies are poisonous and need to be placed in the cupboard or closet with a lock. Lock up paints, chemicals, and pesticides properly so that your child does not discover them accidentally.

Keep Personal Products Away

Keep all soaps, detergents, hair products, and make up out of your children’s reach.  Use locks or safety latches on drawers to keep your curious kid away from them.

 Install CO detector

Installing CO detector is important to keep your children and family safe. The alarm alerts you on time when CO reaches a dangerous level. Make sure to install CO detector in all areas where your child spends most of his time so that you take precautions on time.

Store Medication 

Both prescription and over-the-counter medications can be hazardous for children. Make sure to keep them away from your kids’ reach.  Do not forget to dispose off your unused medicines or never leave them somewhere your children have access like the fridge or counter.

 Keep them locked in the cabinet to save them from accidental discovery. 

How to Treat your Child during a Poison Emergency

Poison on Skin

If your child spills something dangerous in his/her body, immediately remove the clothes and wash it with water at room temperature.  Call Missouri Poison Centre for assistance.

Poison in the Eye

Flush the eyes by pouring a stream of water (room temperature) and try to keep the eyes open. Do it for at least fifteen minutes and call the Missouri Poison Centre for assistance. 

Swallowed Poison 

Stay calm in this situation and remove the leftover poisonous food with your hand from your child’s mouth. Keep it with you to show it to the doctor for determining what your child has swallowed. If the child is not breathing or unconscious, call a poison centre immediately.

How to Contact Missouri Poison Centre

You can contact Missouri Poison Centre on their emergency number 1-800-222-1222 to take assistance of a certified specialist.  If you are looking for information or want to ask questions related to poison overdose, you can call on the same number. 

Bottom line

Overall, poison can cause life-threatening situations.  All the aforementioned tips will help you keep your children safe from any dangerous situation.

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