Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Poison Control - Review your "Non toxic" knowledge


Child safety is our utmost concern. Children may face danger inside the house as well as outside, but making our homes childproof of hazards, such as electric shock, fire, sharp objects or drugs, is somewhat easier than trying to control the outside environment.

As we can imagine, poisoning can be a dramatic experience to children and their parents. Because of this, parents or caregivers may begin a series of actions, which if not based on professional advice, may unfortunately do more harm than good. Our golden rule is ‘Primum non nocere’ which is Latin for ‘First, do no harm’.

Here is a list of Non-Toxic home substances or items found around the house and which are commonly mistaken to be toxic. This is important and can prevent a panicked parent from following faulty procedures that may do harm, such as induced vomiting or even making an unnecessary visit to the ER.

- Air fresheners
- Aluminum foil
- Ashes
- Baby lotion
- Baby wipes
- Calamine lotion
- Candles
- Charcoal
- Clay
- Crayons
- Glue
- Deodorants
- Erasers
- Eye makeup
- Glitter
- Lip balm
- Lipstick
- Mascara
- Matches (less than 3 )
- Newspaper
- Paraffin
- Pencils
- Rust
- Saccharin
- Shoe polish
- Silica gel
- Soil
- Starch
- Sunscreen products
- Suntan lotions
- Superglue
- Mercury in thermometers
- Wall board
- Watercolor paints
- Wax
- Zinc oxide ointments

These items are non-toxic in small to moderate exposures, but the taste and texture may result in mild stomach upset. Depending on the age of the child and the amount or size of item ingested there may also be a risk of choking. We may also need to make sure from labels and constituents that they are not compounded with additional substances.

Lastly, parents should be calm in all cases, and give their child the most helpful and safest antidote; which is: ALWAYS CALL THE POISON CONTROL CENTER.

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