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Is your home poison proof?

 
Are you sure your home is really poison proof? It’s amazing how many poisons can be found around your house which you might not even be aware of. We take a look at common household poisons you're likely to find in your home, what preventative measures you can put in place and what to do if your child is poisoned.
Are you sure your home is really poison proof?

It’s amazing how many poisons can be found around your house which you might not even be aware of.

Thousands of children are exposed to poisons or accidently poisoned every year, either from substances found in their home or unintentionally poisoned from therapeutic or prescription drugs.

Accidental exposure of children under 6 years old to poisons is a very real problem in New Zealand, with 20% of families with pre-school age children experiencing a poisoning every year.
 

How to make your house poison proof


We take a look at common household poisons you're likely to find in your home, what preventative measures you can put in place and what to do if your child is poisoned.
 

Common household poisons


Some products around your home are more toxic than others and in some instances, even small amounts can be extremely poisonous and harmful to your child if they are swallowed.

So what are some of the most common household poisons you're likely to come across? These include:
 
  • Dishwashing powder
  • Household cleaners
  • Air freshener
  • Fly spray
  • Perfume
  • Mulitvitamins
  • Painkillers such as paracetamol, ibruprofen and codeine
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Essential oils
  • Swimming pool chemicals
  • Weed killer
  • Slug and snail bait
  • Petrol
  • Alcohol (ethanol)
  • Liquid inside glowsticks
 

Poisons prevention at home


To help keep your kids safe from all sorts of household poisons, it's important to put some preventative measures in place immediately if you haven't done so already, including:
 
  • Keeping all medicines, chemicals and cleaning products out of sight and out of reach, preferably locked away.
 
  • Disposing of old, unused medicines, garden chemicals and cleaning fluids safely.
 
  • Storing poisonous substances in their original containers – never in food, drink or unlabelled containers.
 
  • Ensuring that all bottles have child-safety caps on them where possible.
 
  • Installing child safety catches on cupboard doors.
 
  • Supervising young children closely when visiting other homes, as poisons may not be stored as safely as in your own home.
 
  • Following medicine dose instructions from your doctor or pharmacist.
 

What to do if your child has been poisoned


If you suspect your child has swallowed something poisonous, DO NOT try to make them vomit or give them anything to drink until you have obtained medical advice.

Either phone the New Zealand National Poisons Centre toll free on 0800 POISON (0800 764 766) or seek medical advice from your GP, hospital or another health professional.
 
The National Poisons Centre (NPC) is a 24/7 Poisons Information Service available to all New Zealanders.

Provided by the Ministry of Health and ACC, the NPC maintains an accurate and up-to-date database of almost all poisonous substances in NZ and Australia, and provides professional and timely advice if you or your child has been poisoned.
 

Other health & wellbeing articles to enjoy

Source: NZ Poisons Centre
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