Learn how to prevent poisonings

A babysitter, or an older brother or sister, is often responsible for the care and safety of young children.
Knowing what to do in the event of a poisoning, and following proper poisoning prevention behaviours, are an important part of that responsibility.
Caregivers should know children who are poisoned by prescription and non-prescription medicines are often attracted to them because of their shape, colour, and smell.
All vitamins and medicines should be stored in a locked cabinet–out of sight and reach of children. Children should only take medicines or vitamins that are administered by an adult.
Caregivers should purchase medicines with child-resistant caps, avoid taking medicines in front of children, and never refer to medicine as “candy.”
Always store poisonous substances in their original containers because content information needed by a Poison Control Centre or physician is listed on the label. And post the phone number of the Poison Control Centre near all telephones.
Hunt for poison hazards in your home. Eating the leaves of some indoor plants can poison children so check the location of all plants and remove those that are dangerous.
All children should have information about how to avoid being poisoned and how to help in a poisoning emergency.
< *c>Carbon monoxide
If you heat with any type of fossil fuel, such as natural gas, propane, wood, oil, or kerosene, it is highly recommended to install and maintain carbon monoxide detectors.
Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless, and tasteless deadly gas. Because you can’t see, taste, or smell it, CO can kill you before you know it’s there.
When CO is present in the air, it rapidly accumulates in the blood. Eventually, it will displace oxygen in your body and suffocate you from the inside out–resulting in brain damage or death.
CO is a common by-product of appliances that run on flammable fuel. Gas or oil furnaces, refrigerators, clothes dryers, water heaters, fireplaces, woodstoves, charcoal grills, gas ranges, and space heaters can emit carbon monoxide.
A clogged chimney or improper venting also can cause problems.
Carbon monoxide poisoning can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere. But people considered to be at greater risk to CO poisoning are unborn babies, infants, seniors citizens, and people with coronary or respiratory problems.
CO poisoning is difficult to diagnose because its symptoms are similar to the ’flu. Symptoms of low-level CO poisoning can include headaches, fatigue, nausea, dizzy spells, and confusion.
It is recommended to install and maintain CO detectors near the sleeping area and on every level of your home and cottage. A detector near the home/cottage heating source adds an extra measure of safety.
Before buying a CO detector, know what you are getting. Many types on the market today will alarm at different levels (parts per million) of CO.
Buy and install a CO detector that is ULC listed to the new Canadian Gas Association (CGA) standard #619. The ULC mark guarantees the product had passed tests in the areas of performance, safety, and accuracy.
And follow the manufacturer’s instructions on installing, care, and maintenance!
Remember, if you never need what you learn about personal safety, you have lost nothing. But if you never learn what you need, you may lose everything . . . your family and your life!

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