Seven simple steps to prevent children’s poisonings

It’s hard to keep an eye on small children all the time, and young children put everything in their mouth. Follow these simple steps to reduce the chance of a poisoning in your home.

Step 1. Make green cleaners – Household cleaners are the third most common reason for accidental poisoning of children. Reduce your child’s exposure to toxins and make your own green cleaners (PDF).

Green clean kit

Build your own green cleaning kit

Step 2. Buy safer cleaners. If you don’t have the time or interest to make your own green cleaners, buy safer ones. How? Read the label. Look in the lower left-hand corner for the words CAUTION, WARNING, DANGER or POISON. Avoid products that say DANGER or POISON. Instead, buy products that have WARNING or CAUTION. Labels with WARNING carry a higher level of hazard than CAUTION. Sometimes two products that do the same thing have different warning labels like these products below – one says WARNING and the other says CAUTION. The product with the word CAUTION is safer than the product with WARNING. Buy the product with CAUTION.

Which product is safer_DangerCautionHighlight

Step 3. Store products safely – Help keep kids safer by storing hazardous products away from their reach. Lock cabinets or take a new look at where you keep your products.

Blond girl under kitchen sink

Step 4. Store and use hazardous products away from food – Children and adults can easily confuse edible products that are in look-a-like containers. Contact the Washington Poison Center 1-800-222-1222 for free help in case of exposure to poisonous, hazardous, or toxic substances.

Pine Sol Apple Juice_CG_cropped

Step 5. Dispose of unwanted or expired medicines at one of these free, medicine take-back locations. Store the medicines you keep safely by locking them in a drawer, cabinet or medicine lock box.

Take Back Your Meds LT_Bartells_Cropped

Step 6. Keep hazardous materials in their original containers – Unmarked and reused containers are easily confused with food – like these containers below that were reused to store waste diesel fuel. If you have to store a product outside of its original container, clearly label and safely dispose of it.

diesel fuel stored in juice bottles_Kitsap Co Solid Waste

(Photo courtesy of Kitsap County Solid Waste)

Step 7. Take unwanted household hazardous products to one of these disposal locations. It’s easy to do and it’s free! Watch this video to see how easy it is.

HHW facility S shed-customer-haz-waste from Ned cropped3