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Poison-proofing tips that dads need to know

Paul Banas
Author Paul Banas
Submitted 22-06-2011

If you're the proud owner of a new bundle-of-joy, chances are you're doing your best trying to make his introduction to the world as risk-free as possible. One of the most important things that a father can do to ensure the safety of his child is to prepare his home for the inevitable adventures of this curious little explorer. While part of the process involves best practices, such as storing sharp objects in cabinets, child-proofing electrical outlets and even training a pet to play nice, poison-proofing is one step fathers simply cannot skimp on.

More than one million children each year are victims of accidental poisoning. The sad fact is that most of these occurrences could have been avoided with a little due diligence from parents. Because small children have a tendency to put things in their mouths, any poisonous substances must be kept locked away behind child-proof doors or in an area in which a small child cannot access.

While you're probably aware of some of the more traditional toxins in your home, such as detergents, drain-cleaners, pesticides and automobile fluids, other potential hazards may surprise you.

Cosmetic and personal care products such as mouthwash, nail polish and baby-oil, are not often thought of as poisons. Their placement by the bathroom sink is a daily pattern and is easily overlooked. However, to curious little hands, these items may be colorful and enticing, so make sure to store them in an out-of-reach area.

Prescription drugs should always be stored in a high medicine cabinet or lock-box. These substances can be dangerous to adults, so it follows that they are potentially fatal to small children. Over-the-counter drugs such as cough medicine and pain-killers should also be secured. These include ibuprofen, acetaminophen and aspirin.

Certain varieties of house plant can also be dangerous, as they may contain naturally produced chemical toxins. Keep a close eye on flowers such as azalea, hyacinth and hydrangea. In the case of house plants, dumb cane and caladium can pose a threat.

Ultimately it is up to you as a father to read the labels on all of the products in your house to determine the potential dangers they may pose. However, with a little bit of time and effort, you can ensure that no toxins are within the reach of your little one.