Print off & complete this checklist in order to ensure that your bathroom and medicines are "poison-proofed". Don't be afraid to get down on your hands and knees to get a child's perspective.
Identify all the potential poisons in your Bathroom
- Personal hygiene - shampoos, body wash, soap
- Oral hygiene - toothpaste, mouthwashes
- Cosmetics, shaving products, aftershave, perfume
- Toilet fresheners & bowl cleaners
There may also be bathroom cleaners, hair care or dye products, cosmetics, perfumes, pot plants and possibly many others
__ Remove all medicine from any location easily accessed by children such as counters or in open areas, purses or handbags, overnight bags, nightstand drawers.
__ Remind all visitors to check their purses or handbags and overnight bags for medicines that can then be stored safely for the duration of their stay.
__ Are medicines all in their original containers? Including the outer box in the case of foil blister packs
__ Do the medicine containers have clear and legible labels detailing the name of the medicine, the active ingredients, and quantity of tablets or capsules present?
__ Do the medicine containers have child-resistant closures? If not - ask for all prescriptions to be put in containers with child-resistant closures and ensure they are properly secured after each & every use.
__ If you use a pillbox because of the quantity of medicines you take regularly, make a list of all the pills you take and keep it with the pillbox, out of reach of children. Include the exact name, description, strength and number of each pill for each day
__ Check if all medicines are current & required. Dispose of unidentified, out-of-date or unwanted medicines by taking back to the pharmacy and continue to do so as soon as each current medicine is no longer required
__ Put all medicines & medical supplies out of reach and out of sight in a high, locked cupboard with a child safety latch.
__ Include oral contraceptives, vitamins, iron pills, creams & ointments, alcohol wipes or swabs, as well as prescription drugs and over-the-counter drugs, and put them securely away after each & every use
__ Always take medicines responsibly. Do not take medicine or give medicine to others in front of children. Accurately measure doses, and never refer to medicine as "candy" or "drinks" when giving to your child.
__ Whenever purchasing a medicine, choose the smallest size container available in order to minimise the risk, if a child was to be exposed.
Other Bathroom Hints
__ Ensure the toilet lid remains shut at all times when not in use if using an in-bowl cleaner
__ Store all personal care products out of reach of children
__ Teach children responsible use of teeth hygiene products and choose a junior strength toothpaste
The Next Step
__ Have the National Poison Centre phone number 0800 Poison (764 766) next to every phone in your home
__ Learn what to expect when calling the poison centre: Calling the NPC
Follow these guidelines for any medicines found in other rooms - Medicines and first aid kits may also be found in the kitchen, bedroom, workshop/garage or even in the car.
Identify anything else in the bathroom that is commonly found in other rooms, such as the kitchen and follow those appropriate guidelines too
Now that your bathroom is poison-proof, now let's choose another room and move on:
Kitchen & Household Products
Laundry & Bleaches/cleaners
The Garden Shed & Chemicals
By checking off this list, you've made a great start to minimising the risk of poisoning in your bathroom - Don't be complacent though - Review this list on a regular basis, as situations can change quickly, when children are growing and learning so quickly. Always be poison-aware, especially when you visit other houses or visitors come to stay. Children act fast and so do poisons!