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08 December 2023

Safety with E24|7: Prevent medicine poisoning

It is believed medicines are the most common cause of accidental poisoning in children. (Shutterstock)

By Sneha May Francis

Every household will have a stock of medicines. It’s an essential, especially in times of emergencies, but what most parents fail to realise is that adult medications can pose as potential poisoning agents for young kids.

Also, some medicines in the stock may be past expiry dates.

The medicine box could attract a curious child, who might fancy putting those colourful tablets into their mouth.
It’s not just medicines and tonics that harm young children, even cleaning products and makeup items do.
This is why it is highly important that you childproof your house and keep these potential poisoning agents locked away.
Vitamin or aspirin bottles must never be left on kitchen tables, bedside tables or dresser tops, because it is easily accessible by older children, and they might tend to copy an adult and pop a tablet.

Babies and toddlers have a tendency to put anything and everything into their mouths, so there’s a possibility that they might touch and taste a medicine bottle that is within their reach.
It’s not enough that medicines and cleaning agents are stored in higher cabinets, it must be locked as well. Children can find interesting ways to reach a higher cabinet, so ensure these are locked.
You must remember that medicine packaging is flimsy and a child can easily open it.
It is believed that medicines are the most common cause of accidental poisoning in children.
Bathroom and kitchen are potential areas of danger for children as cleaning agents and washing detergents are placed on ground level, and within their reach.

Adults must take extra care to ensure all these agents are kept in cabinets with safety latches.
Cosmetics, when inhaled or consumed can also lead to poisoning. Care must be taken to ensure that perfumes, hairdye, hairspray, nail paint and remover, should be kept locked away.
Experts claim that to keep the house safe for children, adults must first inspect the interiors by bending down and walking on their fours. It’s then that you can view the area within the same level as a child, and detect products that can cause harm.
Key points to remember
Ensure adult bags that could contain medications are kept out of reach of kids at all times.
Try and record how many pills are left in a prescription container.
Children tend to imitate adults, so take your own medicine when they are not watching.
Never store cleaning agents beside the toilet or under the kitchen sink that can be accessible by a child.
When buying cleaning products, look for bottles with child-resistant tops.
When you’re trying to persuade a reluctant toddler to take their medicine, never pretend it’s a sweet.
Batteries (button-shaped ones) and paints must be locked away.