June is National Safety Month, and while there are many standard safety threats to children that we try to prevent, there are some that maybe aren’t as prevalent. Poison control is an important one! The best way to avoid poison ingestion is to have a plan in place to keep poisonous substances out of reach of children and to know what precautions we can take to prevent contact.
While students are in our care, we want them to be as safe as possible. We can watch them like a hawk, but there will be instances in which an adult can’t always have an eye on them, giving them a chance to get into things that could potentially hurt them. While some chemicals aren’t harmful, others are. It only takes a moment for a student to wander off and get into the cabinet where we often store many of our disinfectants and sanitizers used at the end of the day to clean the classrooms. That is why it is so important to have safety protocols in place so that this doesn’t become an issue.
Schools can implement poison prevention by storing all cleaners/sanitizers/disinfectants in a locked cabinet and out of children’s reach. It is also important to note that these items should be stored in their original containers as not to be confused with something else. Another way to help prevent poison ingestion is to educate the children on this issue. If they are old enough to understand, teach them about the exposure of harmful chemicals, how to read chemical and drug labels, and why it is not okay to ingest them in any way.
If a student is exposed to harmful chemicals, it is imperative you have an emergency plan in place. You should immediately call poison control at 1-800-222-1222. Doing this within moments of the student ingesting the substance can be lifesaving!