Practice child safety at home by keeping chemical hazards out of reach of children.

When it comes to home safety, we may be more aware of dangerous objects like knives or other sharp objects. We must be even more prudent if there are young children at home. As they are very curious, they could be interested in almost everything they can find in the house.

Furthermore, we may not be as aware and careful with the dangers posed by common household items and consumer products. Certain things (e.g. medication, cleaning products, alcohol and pesticides) can be dangerous if mishandled and must be kept out of children’s reach to ensure child safety.

Here are some tips to help you create a safe environment for your child:

Medication

  • Keep all medications out of reach from your child (e.g. high shelf in a cabinet) to prevent them from accidentally consuming the medications.
  • Educate your child about medications. Do not coax children into taking pills and medicine by telling them that they are sweets. They may eat other medicine they find lying around, mistaking them for sweets.
  • When giving medicine to sick children always do so in a brightly lit room to avoid giving the wrong dosage or medicine.
  • Keep all medicine in childproof bottles or in their original containers clearly labelled.
  • Follow the instructions on the labels. Dosages are based on your child's age and weight. If there is a dispenser that comes with the medicine, be sure to use it.
  • Dispose of all expired medicine.
  • Do not doctor hop when your child is ill. Different doctors may be giving the same medicine. For example, paracetamol poisoning may occur if the caregiver gives the same medicine from more than one doctor to the child.
  • Parents should not leave beer cans or wine bottles around, especially after a party. Young children can consume these and get alcohol poisoning.
  • Do note that vitamins and minerals, when taken in excess, can be dangerous to young children.

Household Chemicals

  • Keep all household chemicals such as cleaners, detergents, aerosol cans and other poisonous substances out of your child's reach.
  • Label poisonous substances with a prominent label with a warning sign. Teach your child to recognise these labels and the contents of containers bearing these labels as poisonous. Emphasize that the contents are not edible.
  • When using cleaning products or household chemicals, be careful not to let your child touch the bottles and consume the poisonous substances inside.
  • Do not leave rat poison, cockroach powders and other pest baits lying around the house. Choose alternative methods of pest control such as spraying. If you have to use pest baits, place them in a place where your child cannot reach.
  • Exercise child safety at home by keeping your child away from areas where you have just sprayed insecticide. Allow him or her to come back only after the insecticide has been cleared up. Always follow the user instructions that come along with the insecticide to avoid any risk of poisoning.

Other Potential Home Hazards

  • Cosmetics, hair dye, hairspray, shoe polish, nail polish, nail polish remover, perfume, toiletries, gardening products and car-cleaning agents are also chemical hazards and potential poisons. Always store them in a safe and secure place, out of your child's reach.
  • Button-cell batteries are poisonous because of the alkaline content, and are dangerous and can pose as a safety hazard because your child can easily swallow or choke on them. Keep them away safely.
  • Do not grow plants with poisonous leaves or flowers at home. Teach your child never to put leaves, stems, bark, flowers, seeds, nuts or berries from any plant into his or her mouth to prevent poisoning incidents.
  • When you bring your child to visit family and friends, always supervise your child to make sure he or she has no access to potential household chemicals and home hazards.

Important Tips to Keep the Family Safe

  • Keep a first aid kit in your home for use during emergencies.
  • Have a list of emergency numbers next to your phone for easy access.

Keep a first aid kit to treat any injuries caused by home hazards and dangerous chemicals at home. 


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