Monday, January 27, 2014

Poison Safety Tips for Parents of Newborns

Bringing life into this world can be an incredibly exciting time! A parent’s life will soon be filled with the joys of watching their child or children discover the world. While adjusting to your new life as a parent of a newborn, the Texas Poison Control Network is here to relieve some stress and keep you informed.

Check out the safety tips below for new parents that will help scary situations seem a little less scary and have you more prepared to deal with possible dangerous situations that arise:

0-6 Months
The most common problem the Poison Center sees during the first few months of a newborn’s life is medication errors. In order to use the upmost precaution, make sure you are using a measuring syringe or droppers given by your pharmacist or physician. Make sure you give the proper amount and if you are unsure, always check with your pharmacist or physician before giving the medicine.

If the amount of medication you are giving exceeds over ½ a teaspoon, then please check with your pharmacist or physician first. And if you leave your baby with a sitter, make sure the babysitter is aware of the medications and have clear instructions on how to properly give the baby medicine.

6-9 Months
During the 6-9 month period, your baby will start crawling. Here are some things you might want to watch out for when baby-proofing your home.

·         Cleaning products that are usually stored underneath cabinets should be placed out of sight and out of reach of children

·         Identify all indoor and outdoor plants to verify that no plants in or near the home are dangerous to your child. If you are unsure about a plant, you can always call the poison center to see if a plant is poisonous at 1-800-222-1222.

·         Remember your baby now has access to the entire floor of your home so make sure none of the following could be lying around: rat poisons, insect bait, or medications accidently dropped. 

9 months+
After the 9 month mark, your baby will start not only crawling, but walking and climbing. And what is the one thing a baby LOVES to do? Put whatever they find directly into their mouth! Follow these tips to keep your house and family safe from potential poisons:

·         It is a great idea to put child-resistant locks on cabinets that have potential hazards. You can buy these almost anywhere. Put medicines out of reach and out of sight of children. Remember, child safety caps are not child-proof.

·         Now that the child has access to the entire backyard, it is more important than ever that you check for poisonous plants and mushrooms and have them removed. Pesticide products should not be used in the yard either.

·         Remember that the kids can now get into your purse so make sure you aren’t carrying anything that could potentially harm a child. This includes medications and cosmetics so be mindful of carrying these items in your purse.

·         Children’s medication usually has a sweet flavor that helps make it easier to get children to take the medicine. With that in mind, keep children’s medications such as vitamins, antibiotics and cough syrups out of reach and out of sight. And remember to NEVER tell a child that medication is candy because then they will think all medication is candy and could potentially harm themselves.

·         Always know how much of a liquid medicine is in the bottle in case a toddler does get into the medicine. You can do this by using a marker to show the level after each time you give the medicine.

Lastly, the Poison Control Network provides a section on their website called “Kids’ Corner”. Here you can find tips for a babysitter as well as a document for download called Babysitter Notes to help out the babysitter while you are out. (

Remember, the Poison Control Network is here to help you. So if you find yourself in a possible poisoning situation or you just aren’t sure if you can give a particular medication to your child, please do not hesitate to call 1-800-222-1222 for some free expert advice, 24 hours a day!