Is Your Home Poison Proof?


March 16 through 22nd  was National Poison Prevention week.

Did you know that roughly 2.4 million Americans are poisoned every year, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, with more than half under the age of six years? In fact, 9 out of 10 poison episodes occur at home.

Safe Kids Worldwide shares the following tips on keeping your home poison proof:

  • Keep Cleaners and other toxic products out of reach. Store all household products out of children’s sight and reach. Young kids are often eye-level with items under the kitchen and bathroom sinks. So any bleach, detergents, dishwasher liquid or cleaning solutions that are kept there should find a new storage location.
  • Install child safety locks on cabinets where you have stored poisonous items. It only takes a few minutes, and it gives you one less thing to worry about.
  • Read product labels to find out what can be hazardous to kids. Dangerous household items include makeup, personal care products, plants, pesticides, lead, art supplies, alcohol and carbon monoxide.
  • Don’t leave poisonous products unattended while in use. Many incidents happen when adults are distracted for a moment on the phone or at the door.
  • Keep cleaning products in their original containers. Never put a potentially poisonous product in something other than its original container (such as a plastic soda bottle) where it could be mistaken for something else
  •  Throw away old medicines and other potential poisons. Check your garage, basement and other storage areas for cleaning and work supplies you no longer need and can discard.
  • Check your purse for potential hazards. Be aware of any medications or makeup that may be in your handbag. Store handbags out of the reach of young children. Use original, child-resistant packaging
  • Buy child-resistant packages when available.
  • Keep medicines up and away. Make sure that all medications, including vitamins, are stored out of reach and out of sight or children. Even if you are tempted to keep the medicine handy because you have to give another dose in a few hours, don’t leave it on the counter between dosing. Always put medicines and vitamins away after every use.
  • Have Poison Control on Speed Dial!Program the toll-free number for the Poison Control Center (800-222-1222800-222-1222) into your home and cell phone and post it near your phone or on your refrigerator for the babysitter. Hopefully, you’ll never need it, but it’s nice to have just in case. Poison control centers offer fast, free, confidential help in English and Spanish. Most poisonings are resolved over the phone. The number works from anywhere in the United States 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  •  If you suspect your child has been poisoned, call poison control. If your child has collapsed or is not breathing, call 911.  Do not make the child vomit or give him anything unless directed by a professional.
  • Check for Lead. Check homes built before 1978 for lead-based paint. If lead hazards are identified, test your child for lead exposure and hire a professional to control and remove lead sources safely. Remove any peeling paint or chewable surfaces painted with lead-based paint.
  •  Regularly wash your child’s toys and pacifiers to reduce the risk of your child coming into contact with lead or lead-contaminated dust.  Check for more info on product recalls involving lead-based products. Follow the recommendations to eliminate any products such as toys or cookware that contain lead.
  • Install a Carbon Monoxide Alarm and Identify Signs of Poisoning ! Install a carbon monoxide alarm on every level of your home, especially near sleeping areas, and keep them at least 15 feet away from fuel-burning appliances.

For more information go to

Send SMS
Add to Skype
You’ll need Skype CreditFree via Skype

Researchers Prove Carbon Monoxide Passes Through Walls

carbon monoxideAccording to an article recently published by HealthDay News, which was based on findings from researchers in Seattle, carbon monoxide gas can pass easily through drywall, and poison those living inside a home, apartment or condo. The report is published in the Aug. 21 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.HealthDay reports:

Researchers shared that this finding highlights the need for having carbon monoxide alarms in your home, since even checking your own appliances won’t guarantee that the lethal gas might not seep through your walls from another source.

“What this study tells me is that carbon monoxide does not stay put in a building, that the barriers between apartments or condos will slow down carbon monoxide, but do not stop it,” said Dr. Eric Lavonas, associate director of the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center in Denver. “Therefore, the best way to protect your family is to have a working carbon monoxide alarm in your home,” according to Lavonas, who was not involved with the study.

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas found in car exhaust and in fumes from fuel-burning sources such as generators, charcoal grills, gas stoves and wood fireplaces. “Any source of combustion produces carbon monoxide of some degree, no matter how clean-burning your appliances are,” said study author Dr. Neil Hampson, with the Center for Hyperbaric Medicine at the Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle.

Unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning kills between 400 and 500 people per year in the United States. The only form of protection is a carbon monoxide alarm. “Carbon monoxide is undetectable to human senses. You cannot see it, you cannot smell it, and you cannot taste it, so you do not know you’ve been poisoned until you get sick and start getting headaches, vomiting or pass out,” Hampson explained.

Twenty-five states require residences to have these alarms, but 10 of these states now allow exemptions for homes that have no internal sources of carbon monoxide. Many experts are concerned that these exemptions will lead to an increase in accidental poisonings, particularly in multi-family dwellings, where walls between homes are shared.

To prove that carbon monoxide can go through walls, researchers placed varying thicknesses of drywall in a Plexiglas container to observe how quickly the gas could travel through the walls. Because the pores in the wallboard are 1 million times larger than a carbon monoxide molecule, the gas passed easily through the porous barrier. Painted drywall slowed down the gas only a bit.

Only alarms can detect carbon monoxide gas once it is in a home, but far too many homes either don’t have one or have one that isn’t functioning because the batteries have died or have been removed. According to Lavonas, only 30 percent of American homes have a working carbon monoxide alarm. In North Carolina, a state that has a law requiring the devices, only 67.8 percent of homes do, according to a study published in the American Journal of Public Health in 2012.

There have been many cases of poisonings in homes where carbon monoxide alarms were found, “but they either had no battery in them or they hadn’t even been taken out of the package,” Hampson said. “In addition to changing the batteries regularly, it’s important to check the expiration date on the alarm itself, he added.”When you change your batteries, you should look at the back of the alarm to see when the expiration date is. It’s either five or seven years, depending on the manufacturer,” Hampson explained.

Unlike smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms may be placed anywhere, from the bottom of the wall to the ceiling, and only one is needed per level, preferably located just outside the sleeping areas. Some alarms can be plugged directly into an electrical outlet or hard-wired, but both Hampson and Lavonas caution that if these are used, they should have a battery back-up. Most carbon monoxide poisonings occur during blackouts, when power is out, they noted.

If your alarm sounds, leave your home immediately, and call the fire department.

To learn more about carbon monoxide, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.



Eximius Theme by