Children are curious about the world around them. Their curiosity, smaller size and lower body weight, as well as the appealing taste of flavoured children’s medication or brightly coloured objects, such as laundry pods, can put them at risk for poisoning.
Last year, the Poison and Drug Information Service received approximately 55 calls per day for poisonings. Forty percent of calls were for children up to five years of age. Many of these calls involved acetaminophen and ibuprofen. While these medicines are safe for treating common aches and pains, they can be harmful if taken incorrectly.
In addition, household items — such as cleaners, personal care products, car supplies, batteries, medications and pesticides — can be poisonous if ingested or used incorrectly. Although we may not think of all these products as dangerous, they can cause poisoning and serious injury when misused. Other items — such as cannabis, e-cigarettes, hand sanitizers, bleach and laundry detergent pods — are items that can cause poisonings and harm.
There are things you can do as a parent or caregiver to help keep children safe:
- Ensure all medications and potential poisons remain in their original containers and are locked up and out of sight.
- Use childproof latches on your cupboards.
- Always put medicines away after use.
- Keep visitors’ coats and bags out of reach of children, as they might contain medicines.
For more information on preventing poisonings, visit Poison and drug information.
If you are concerned that someone has been poisoned, call 911 or PADIS at 1-800-332-1414.
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