March is Poison Prevention Month, and keeping our loved ones healthy requires some proactive measures to ensure everyone stays safe from accidental poisoning. Clearing out harmful substances and keeping them safely stored is a great first step, but there's no way to eliminate every possible poisoning risk in the home. In this article, we'll discuss common causes of accidental household poisoning, how to keep your family and senior loved ones safe, and resources you can keep close at hand to prevent poisoning.
What Is Poison Prevention?
Poison prevention includes taking measures and precautions to reduce the risk of poisoning in people of all ages. It involves being aware of the potential risks, recognizing the signs and symptoms of poisoning, and taking steps to prevent accidental poisonings in the home. Poison prevention is especially important for elderly relatives, as they may be more susceptible to poisoning.
Common Sources of Poisoning
Poisoning can come from a variety of sources, including medications, household products, food and drinks, and plants and insecticides. The first step in poison prevention is to make sure that these substances are properly handled and stored.
Medication: Medication poisoning can occur when people forget to take their medication or when they take the wrong medication due to confusion or mislabeling. Taking expired medications can also be poisonous.
Household Products: Household products such as cleaning supplies and paint can also be potential sources of poisoning. Caregivers should ensure that these products are properly stored out of reach and well labeled.
Food and Drink: Food and drink poisoning can occur when people consume expired food or drinks, or foods that contain harmful bacteria. It is important to ensure that all food and drinks are properly stored and not shared with anyone else. Discard expired food products promptly.
Insecticides: Insecticide poisoning can occur when people consume plants or insecticides that are toxic. It is important to ensure that any gardening products that include insecticides are stored properly. Wash your hands after handling plants, and don't use harmful insecticides on plants in living spaces.
Signs and Symptoms of Poisoning
The signs and symptoms of poisoning can vary depending on the source and the amount of the poisoning. Symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, confusion, and difficulty breathing.
If you suspect that someone has been poisoned, it is important to take the following steps:
- Call the local poison control center immediately
- Check the label of the product for any instructions on how to treat poisoning
- Administer first aid as necessary
- Seek medical attention immediately
3 Resources for Poison Prevention
There are a variety of resources available to help you prevent poisoning in your home.
Florida's Poison Control Centers: Florida's Poison Control Centers are your first stop for localized poison prevention resources. Many local poison control centers and local health departments also have pamphlets and other resources that can be put on your refrigerator.
Home Safety Checklists: A variety of government agencies also provide home safety checklists for making sure harmful chemicals are handled properly throughout your living space. These checklists help ensure that you've worked through every step of a poison prevention plan.
Online Resources: There are a variety of online resources available to help you prevent poisonings in the home, including educational materials about the risks of poisoning. If you use a potentially risky substance, you can also find important information about storing and handling it through online resources.
Senior Helpers Offers In-Home Care Services
Poison prevention starts in the home. Making sure that your senior loved one has a healthy living space means properly storing potentially harmful substances as well as accessing local resources. For help making sure that their living space is free of poisons, contact Senior Helpers Broward County today. Our professional caregivers work with seniors in and around the Hollywood, Fort Lauderdale, and Broward County areas.