As families started staying at home to help fight COVID-19, they stocked up on cleaning products, hand sanitizer, and over-the-counter medicines. In addition, springtime gardening and yard work could mean that pesticides and fertilizers make their way into the home. Unfortunately, poison control centers have seen a spike in calls related to bleach, sanitizers, and disinfectants. Now more than ever, it is important to practice safe use and storage of poisonous products. This National Safety Month, make the commitment to a safer home by locking up all potentially harmful substances.
- Hand Sanitizer: Small amounts of hand sanitizer can poison a child and can be fatal. Always supervise children when using hand sanitizer and keep it out of reach when not in use.
- Disinfectants & Bleach: Use cleaning products as directed, and always keep them in their original containers. Do not combine or mix cleaners, as toxic fumes can be produced. Keep cleaning products out of reach and locked away.
- Cleaning and Disinfectant Chemical Exposures and Temporal Associations with COVID-19 — National Poison Data System, United States, January 1, 2020–March 31, 2020 — CDC
- Protecting Children from Pesticides: Information for Parents — HealthyChildren.org
- Pest control & gardening products: Keep children inside while the lawn or garden is being sprayed for pests. Poison can be absorbed through the skin, through the mouth, or by breathing vapors. HealthyChildren.org recommends keeping kids “off the lawn after a chemical fertilizer has been applied until it's been exposed to at least a quarter inch of rain or a good watering. Then, wait at least 24 hours before you allow kids to play on the lawn."
- Medicines: If you have young children, store all medicine in a place that is too high to see or reach, preferably in a locked cabinet. If you have teens in the home, a locked cabinet is the best choice. Tightly close and safely store all medication bottles after each use. Safely dispose of unused medication.
Poison control centers are available 24 hours a day, every single day (including holidays!). Do not hesitate to call the Poison Help Line (800-222-1222) if you suspect a child or family member has come in contact with a poisonous product.
More information available at: https://www.preventchildinjury.org/covid19