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A row of cleaning productsParents are always concerned about protecting their children from bullies, strangers and violence, but one of the biggest threats to a child’s well-being can be found right at home.

According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, more than 1.2 million possible poisonings of children under age 5 were reported in 2009. The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that about 30 U.S. children die from poisoning each year.

March 16-22 is National Poison Prevention Prevention Week. Here are some helpful strategies to help keep your little ones safe by poison-proofing your home.

Study Your Home…From A Child’s Point of View

The most effective way to ensure your child’s safety is to take a child’s-eye view of your home. Get down on the floor and take a look see how things look from a little one’s point of view. This will help you figure out which cupboards, drawers, and other spaces your child might be tempted to explore.

Lock Up Poisons

Carefully lock up and/or put away every potential poison, including cleaning products, bug sprays, medicines, and vitamins. Use gates to limit your child’s access to areas of your home that might contain dangerous items. Be sure to toss old or outdated medications – but be sure not to flush them down the toilet or pour them down the drain unless otherwise noted on the bottle, as this could contaminate your water supply. If you’re not sure how to safely dispose of medication, call the U.S. Food and Drug Administration hotline at (800) 463-6332.

Don’t forget…even some houseplants can be harmful if ingested, so be sure to talk with your doctor about plants that are safe and unsafe for children to be around.

Protect Your Home From Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide is an odorless and colorless gas produced by malfunctioning fuel-burning appliances such as furnaces, water heaters, ovens, stoves, gas dryers, and emergency generators. Although you can’t see it, smell it, or taste it, carbon monoxide gas can be deadly.

Poison-Proof Your Home  was originally published on

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