May 29, 2000 -- The kitchen and bathroom are two of your home's most hazardous areas, where curious toddlers can easily find attractively packaged toxic agents. To avoid preventable poisoning, keep all of these substances out of reach and in locked cabinets. Other prevention tips, says Keith M. Perrin, MD, chairman of the American Association of Physician's Section on Injury and Poison Prevention, include the following:
- Always label medicines carefully. This can be useful for kids old enough to read and also as a preventive measure against accidentally administering the wrong medicine to a child.
- Never take recreational or prescription drugs in front of children.
- Never call medicine "candy."
- Always use childproof caps.
- Label plants so that you know which ones are toxic, and keep them up high. Some common toxic household plants include philodendron, mistletoe, poinsettia, and oleander.
- Discourage children from putting anything except food in their mouths.
Jennifer Haupt, a freelance writer based in Bellevue, Wash., specializes in parenting issues and other lifestyle topics. Her writing has appeared in Parenting magazine, Parenting Insights, Seattle Magazine, and Seattle's Child.