Travel and Poison – What’s the Connection?
Holidays usually mean school breaks, and for some travel, which brings changes to daily household routines. Although you may take great pains to make your home a safe place for your child, the Indiana Poison Center would like to remind you that during vacation time the risk of poisoning increases. “Vacations are a time to relax but parents need to remember that an unsupervised child is more at risk for poisoning and other injuries”. This applies not only when a child is traveling with his or her family but also when guests visit the child’s home. Medications that are usually locked away at home may be more accessible while traveling in a vehicle or staying in a hotel room. Visitors to your home may not be used to having young children around and may leave dangerous items in suitcases and other places within easy reach of children.
The Indiana Poison Center offers the following tips for a poison-safe summer:
- Give guests a safe place such as a cabinet that locks or a tackle box with a padlock to store medicine and other potentially dangerous items during their visit. Remind them not to leave these items in suitcases and handbags where children can easily find them. Be especially vigilant about daily pill containers. These containers are rarely child-resistant and pose a particular risk to young children since they give access to multiple medications at one time.
- Remind visitors that children love to imitate adults. Ask them to take their medication where children can’t watch.
- Be sure that one person is responsible for watching each child. It’s easy for children to find medicines and poisons if everyone thinks someone else is paying attention.
On the road:
- Keep medicines locked up in a suitcase or other container. A tackle box with a padlock works especially well for road trips.
- Remember to remove potential poisons from handbags and diaper bags and keep them out of reach of children. Items such as medications, sunscreen and baby powder could become a problem if eaten by a curious child.
- Take the poison center phone number with you. Call 1-800-222-1222 from any place in the United States to reach the local poison center, 24 hours a day.
Away from home:
- Poison-proof any place where you stay. Lock medicines and household products away from children. Use child-resistant packaging on medicines and household products, keeping in mind that these containers are not childproof.
- Remind others to lock medicines and household products away from children and to return these items to safe storage immediately after use.
- Remember to keep house and garden plants, ashtrays and alcoholic beverages out of reach of young children.
- Check for other safety features such as outlet covers, gates at the tops and bottom of stairs, window blind cords, etc.