Summertime Poison Prevention

July 08, 2014

We wait all year for the lazy days of summer when we can be out in the fresh air. But consumers also need to be alert to the dangers to children that increase in the summertime. They're out of school, running around in our yards and wooded areas, and are more likely to come into contact with pesticides, dangerous plants and insects. 

We adults need to be careful. For example, to minimize the dangers from pesticides, read and compare product labels. Buy those that meet your needs most closely but try to look for those that are non-toxic to children and pets. Never buy opened pesticides at garage sales or use products whose ingredients or age cannot be determined. When you're almost through with the container, never pour the last remains into a smaller container of a different product. Make sure its box identifies it and gives use and disposal instructions. Every single year we read about children poisoned because carless people put chemicals in unmarked food containers. The regret they express afterwords is horrible; no one wants this on their conscience. 

Poisons and dangerous chemicals need to be locked safely away from children. This includes fuel from the lawnmower and barbecue grill, paints, varnishes, and cleaning products. 

To protect children (and yourself) against insect bites, keep the screens closed at windows and doorways. Keep garbage cans tightly closed, and don't apply strong perfumes, hair sprays or pungent suntan lotions before going into your yard. Keep an insect sting kit handy. Be sure babysitters know about any important allergies (even ones like penicillin).

Inside the home, sources of accidental poisoning include cosmetics, plant foods, cleaning substances and over-the-counter medications. You can obtain inexpensive plastic childproof locks for the kitchen and bathroom cabinets for just a few dollars. They are a wise investment. Also, some household plants are pretty buy their leaves can be toxic. Remember that toddlers put almost everything in their mouths and keep those plants out of reach or get rid of them.

Don't forget that you can check out the BBB reports on thousands of companies before you buy at Here you can also file a complaint with a company about a product or service they provided to you that was unsatisfactory.