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Poison Prevention Tips for Your Baby


Because babies and toddlers are curious people who like to experience things by putting them in their mouths, be sure to keep anything that might be poisonous out of reach. Even if your little one isn't mobile yet, now’s a good time to get into the habit of putting away your make-up!

To be safe, assume that any of the following products might be toxic enough to make your baby very sick; after you use them, close the package securely and put them out of reach. (Any product carrying a Warning, Caution, Danger, or Poison label should be secured in a childproof cabinet or closet.)

  • Beauty and hygiene aids
  • Make-up/cosmetics
  • Baby care creams, lotions, oils, wipes etc.
  • Vitamins and herbal remedies
  • Medicines
  • Household cleaners
  • Garden products

12 Poison Prevention Tips

  1. 1-800-222-1222. Post this number Poison Control Hotline number on your refrigerator door or by the phone, or program it into your cellphone (or download a ringtone here). Call even if you're not sure whether the lipstick your baby licked is harmful. Bring the product to the phone with you so you can give the expert who answers the details.
  2. When you're cleaning, don't take your eyes off the baby.You're cleaning the floor, the phone rings, you go to answer it, and the baby scoots over and grabs that nice orange-colored floor cleaner. Glug. Unintentional exposure to cleaning products happens most often at age 1 (age 2 is next) and while Mom is cleaning. If you can't clean the kitchen during nap time, do not look away or walk away while there's an open bottle or bucket of cleaner.
  3. Store products in their original containers and never remove the product labels. Why? Because you'll need to read the label to the poison control person when you call the hotline. Plus, when you're suffering from mama-brain, who knows when you'll remember that the stuff in the jar is silver polish and not Pepto-Bismol.
  4. Don't mix cleaning products. When you mix the chemicals in different products (especially bleach, peroxide or ammonia), you can release gases that are especially dangerous for babies (and can cause explosions, too).
  5. Don't leave cloth diapers soaking in a pail with detergent. To your baby, it might look like a great place for water play (plus, a toddler can easily drown in even a partially filled pail).
  6. Keep the diaper bag out of your baby’s reach. Diaper cream and wipes can be toxic.
  7. Turn on a good light before you give your baby medicine, even though a dimmer room would wake the baby less. When the light is dim, you might misread the label on the container and give the baby the wrong medicine or the wrong dose.
  8. Take medicine out of your baby's sight. Pills can look like little candies, which is why they account for many of the calls received at the Poison Hotline. Try not to take medicine in front of your baby (babies love to imitate their favorite grown-ups!) and when you're trying to get your baby to take medicine, never call it "candy."
  9. Put away all medicines and medical supplies. Remove pills from purses, pockets, drawers and the bathroom counter; put them in a secure cabinet.
  10. Put away decorative lamps and candles containing lamp oil where your baby can't reach them. Lamp oil can be very toxic if ingested by a child.
  11. Keep cigarettes and butts away from your baby. Even one cigarette chewed by a baby can make the child very sick (and remember: babies like to imitate).
  12. Share these tips with grandparents, sitters and any other people in whose house your baby plays.
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