Although poisonings in and around the home can occur any time during the year, they happen more often during the summer when children are most likely to be outside and in contact with pesticides, plants and insects.
To minimize the dangers from pesticides, compare labels of various products and buy the one that most closely meets your needs and is nontoxic to kids and pets. Don’t buy pesticides at garage sales or use products whose ingredients and age can’t be determined. When you are through with pesticide containers, don’t pour the last remains from a large bottle into a smaller, more convenient container. Pesticides shouldn’t be separated from their identifying containers. These containers have important information which produce instructions for use, storage and disposal as well as adequate storage facilities.
For pesticides, a cabinet with sturdy shelves and a strong lock is essential. Other poisonous and dangerous materials, including fuel for lawn mowers and barbecue grills, paints, varnishes and cleaning products, should be stored securely out of a child’s reach.
To protect children and yourself from insect bites in summer, and possible allergic reactions, keep screens closed at windows and doorways, keep garbage cans tightly closed, and don’t apply strong perfumes, hair sprays or pungent suntan lotions before going into your yard.
If anyone in your family is allergic to insect bites, keep an insect sting kit handy. It can relieve symptoms and prevent more serious consequences. Also, be sure baby-sitters and other care givers are aware of your child’s allergies.
While you are concerned about summer poison prevention outside of your home, don’t forget the interior of the home. Check the contents of every room, specifically looking for potential poisonous products and an out-of-reach storage space. Sources of accidental household poisoning for children under the age of six include cosmetics, plants, cleaning substances, analgesics, and cough and cold preparations.