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March 20, 2015
Over 500 children under the age of five have presented to Children’s Hospital Emergency Department at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) in the last five years for poisonings.
“We can prevent poisoning in children by taking a few key simple steps and ensuring that we are vigilant,” says Jane Harrington, injury prevention specialist, LHSC. According to Parachute Canada, medication is the leading cause of poisoning in children. Even small amounts of adult medication can be fatal to a child. “Children can confuse medication for candy, especially if they observe adults consuming pills. If you have medication you are no longer using dispose of it at your local pharmacy.”
Other causes of poisoning are household cleaners and personal care products, such as mouthwash or nail polish. Many children have swallowed poisonous products that were not stored properly or were taken out of their original container.
Harrington recommends ensuring that “household cleaning products are kept out of the reach of children or kept in a secure cupboard.”
Medicines, cleaning products and other poisons need to be locked in a place high up and out of your child's reach.
Because laundry detergent packets are small and often brightly coloured, children can mistake them for food or toys. This can lead to a child swallowing the laundry detergent packet, which can cause:
A laundry detergent packet can also burst in a child's hand with only a small amount of pressure. The packet's membrane can dissolve quickly with moisture. Contact with the contents of a laundry detergent packet can cause:
You can help prevent a serious injury involving laundry detergent packets by: