A lot of people don’t realize that poisoning in the home is a big problem in California as well as the rest of the country — poisoning has become the number one cause of death, ahead of car accidents. It’s estimated that around half of all poison exposures are to children under the age of six. Additionally, 92% of all poisoning deaths happen to adults over the age of 20. To help spread awareness of the danger of home poisonings, March 20th through March 26th is National Poison Prevention Week.
What Causes Poisoning in the Home?
The following are some of the most common causes of poisoning in the home:
- Painkillers – Opioids have been responsible for countless deaths over the years. In 2020, opioids were responsible for 68,630 deaths in the United States alone. Many of these painkillers are commonly prescribed as well.
- Personal care products – Personal care products include everything from cosmetics to shampoos. Such products are dangerous when left within reach of young children.
- Cleaning products – Like personal care products, cleaning products, such as bleach, can be incredibly dangerous if not properly stored and a child gets their hands on them.
- Sedatives – Adults who are prescribed sedatives can be poisoned if they take too much or combine them with other medications or with alcohol.
- Foreign bodies – Foreign bodies often include toys produced with certain chemicals that are dangerous to children.
Preventing Home Poisonings
The following are a few safety tips to help prevent poisonings in your home:
- Always put potential poisons away after use.
- Store potential poisons in their original containers. Do not move them to your own containers.
- Keep potential poisons out of reach of children. Use childproof locks or safety latches to keep them from getting access.
- Never put potential poisons near your food.
- Don’t mix medications.
- Safely discard containers that contained potential poisons or any products that are expired.