HOW SAFE ARE OUR CHILDREN IN OUR HOMES By Dr C'fine Okorochukwu

HOW SAFE ARE OUR CHILDREN IN OUR HOMES
The big question every parents must ask is how safe is our children in our homes. It has been stated that poisoning is another major causes of unintentional injury or deaths. Studies from both low-income and high income countries suggest that poisoning and their management are costly/
Major risk factor is that young children are particularly susceptible to the ingestion of poisons, especially liquid because they are very inquisitive, put most items in their mouth and are unaware of the consequences
Most common agents we use in our homes which contain numerous harmful substances  involved in childhood poisoning are :
OVER THE COUNTER PREPARATIONS
-         Paracetamol
-         Cough/cold remedies
-         Vitamins/iron tablets
-         Antihistamine
-         Anti-inflammatory drugs
PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS
-         anti hypertensive
-         diabetics drugs
-         anti depressants
-         narcotics
-         analgesics
-         illicit drugs
HOUSE HOLD PRODUCTS SUCH AS
-         bleach
-         disinfectants
-         detergents
-         cleaning agents
-         cosmetics
-         vinegar
-         paraffin/kerosene
-         pesticides
-         insecticides
-         rodenticides
-         herbicides
-         poisonous plants
-         Alcohol




PREVENTIVE METHOD
1.    Remove all drugs from the reach of children; provide a cabinet where all the medication will be locked up.
2.    All chemicals and liquid must be kept in their original containers and well labelled
3.    Avoid storage of harmful substances in a beverage containers
4.    Avoid storage of kerosene, fuels in the soft drink or baby food containers.
5. Don't leave alcoholic drinks where kids can reach them. Take special care during parties — guests may not be mindful of where they've left their drinks. Clean up promptly after the party.
6. Keep bottles of alcohol in a locked cabinet far from kids' reach.
7. Keep mouthwash out of the reach of kids, as many brands contain substantial amounts of alcohol.
8. Food extracts, such as vanilla and almond, may contain alcohol and can be harmful to kids
9. Store all medicines — prescription and nonprescription — out of sight and out of reach of children, preferably in a locked cabinet. Even items that seem harmless, such as mouthwash, can be extremely dangerous if ingested in large quantities by children. Just because cabinets are up high doesn't mean kids can't get their hands on what's in them — they'll climb up (using the toilet and countertops) to get to items in the medicine cabinet.
10.  Make sure purses and bags — yours and guests' — that could contain poisonous items (such as medicine) are kept out of the reach of kids at all times.
11.  Always keep pills and liquids in their original containers.
12.  Try to keep a record of how many pills are left in their prescription containers.
13.  Be aware of all medicines in your home (and in those of relatives if your kids spend a lot of time there).
14.  Don't rely on packaging to protect your kids — child-resistant packaging does not mean childproof packaging.
15.  Never prepare or give medicine to a child in the dark: You may give the wrong dosage or even the wrong medicine.
16.  Never leave vitamin bottles, aspirin bottles, or other medicine on kitchen tables, countertops, bedside tables, or dresser tops. Kids may decide to try to copy adults and help themselves.
17.  Never tell a child that medicine tastes like candy.

18.  All medicines — even those intended for children — can be dangerous if accidentally taken by others, even in small amounts. If your older child or teen manages his or her own medicines, make sure they know and follow the family rules on safely storing the medicine. And always supervise them and make sure they're taking the proper doses.

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