Most poisoning accidents involve medicines, household products and cosmetics. Over 28,000 children in the UK receive treatment for poisoning, or suspected poisoning, every year.
Tips to avoid accidental poisoning:
- Keep anything that may be poisonous (all medicines and pills, household cleaners and garden products) out of reach, preferably in a locked cupboard
- Use containers that have child-resistant tops. But be aware that by the age of three, many children are able to open child-resistant tops, even if it takes them a little longer
- Don’t take medicine in front of a child, in case they try to copy your actions. Similarly, never tell children that tablets are sweets
- Remove medication or other potentially harmful materials from purses, handbags, pockets, drawers and other places where children are likely to be naturally curious
- Be careful when visiting family or friends, as they may not apply the same safety rules in their homes
- Keep all dangerous chemicals in their original containers. For example, do not store weedkiller in an old drinks bottle as a young child may mistake it for something safe to drink
- Dispose of unwanted medicines and chemicals carefully
- Discourage your children from eating any plants or fungi when outside. Some can be extremely poisonous and even fatal
- Be aware of potential risk of poisoning from carbon monoxide.