We’re very careful about locking up cleansers and insecticides. But the most common cases of kids getting accidental poisoning are from over-the-counter medications. Here are some of the ‘dangerous products’ that we often leave lying around on the kitchen table—just waiting for kids to grab and ‘taste’. Read this list and keep the items well out of reach!
A single or repeated dose above the recommended amount can cause abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea and liver damage. Kids may be tempted to take an unsupervised sip because of the ‘yummy’ flavors or fooled by mommy’s promise that ‘it’s just like juice’ (we’ll say anything to get them to take their dose!).
No, not just liquor. Even those in perfume, aftershave, facial cleansers, antiseptics and mouthwash can cause intoxication. They can also affect heart rate and breathing. Large doses can induce seizures and lead to a coma.
Heart, blood pressure and diabetes medications
Your child may grab these colorful pills and pop them like candy. They can cause irregular heart rhythm and a dangerous drop in blood pressure. Sometimes the symptoms can take effect within 30 minutes. Others may develop over 12 hours or more. Diabetes medications may take 24 hours or more.
Cough and cold medicines
Overdose can cause a rapid increase in blood pressure and heart rate. Others may suddenly have slower breathing, and feel cramps, vomiting and diarrhea. Worst case scenario? Coma.
Eyedrops and nasal sprays
These were designed to be applied topically, and should never be ingested. Even a few drops that re swallowed can cause blood vessels to constrict. In some cases, kids can experience seizures within just half an hour.
Hydro-what? These chemical compounds are found in baby and bath oils, makeup removers, and furniture polish. A single sip can cause pneumonia if your child chokes and aspirates it into his lungs. Hydrocarbons in gasoline and solvents can also cause seizures even if they’re just inhaled.
Iron supplements or any vitamins with iron (like most prenatal vitamins) can cause a child to vomit blood or have diarrhea. The adult dosages are also enough to cause liver damage in a young child.
Read this article on how to protect your child from common toy safety hazards.