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« our campaigns | Keeping your children safe from Poisoning

Most poisoning accidents involve medicines, household products and cosmetics. In Qatar the numbers of cases are increasing. The main reasons are a lack of adult supervision, failing to use safety caps on medicine bottles and keeping drugs in alternative containers, such as juice bottles.

Storing Medicines – Keep medicines well out of reach, and out of sight, of young children. Put them in a high cupboard, a cupboard fitted with a child-resistant catch, a lockable cabinet, or even a lockable suitcase.

spot the medicine

Don’t keep them:

  • On your bedside table – your child can easily get into the bedroom without being seen
  • In your handbag – this is a favourite place for toddlers to find tablets
  • In the fridge – if a medicine needs to be kept in the fridge it will say so on the box.  If it does, keep it as high up and hidden as possible.

Medicines – general tips

  • Keep the caps closed on medicine bottles and put all medicines away immediately
  • Remember that while child-resistant caps may slow a child down, they are not child proof
  • Keep all medicines in their original containers so it is clear what is in them and it is harder for children to open them
  • Take extra care with tablets in see-through packs or brightly coloured tablets – they are especially tempting to children
  • Don’t count out your tablets for the day and leave them lying around
  • Take your medicine when your child isn’t around so they don’t try to copy you
  • Teach your child about the safe use of medicines and never pretend they are sweets
  • Take left-over medicines to your local pharmacy for them to throw away safely
  • Keep an eye on your children in other people’s houses as they may not be as careful as you.

meds baby

Storing household chemicals and products

  • Keep all household chemicals and cleaning products – including detergent tablets for the dishwasher or washing machine – out of sight and in cupboards with child-resistant catches
  • Keep potentially harmful products high up and out of reach – never under the sink or on the floor by the toilet
  • Move products out of reach if you are called away while using them – for example, if the phone rings while you are cleaning the toilet
  • Dispose of empty containers safely and out of your child’s reach
  • Only store chemicals in their original containers, don’t put them into other containers (such as water or juice bottles) as they may be drunk by mistake.

Household chemicals and products – general tips

  • Look for products with child-resistant caps but remember this does not make them child-proof; some children as young as three can open them in seconds
  • Remember that detergent capsules come in boxes that aren’t child-resistant
  • Look for products with a bittering agent – this makes them taste horrible and helps stop young children swallowing them
  • Remember that cigarettes, alcohol, perfumes, aromatherapy oils and mouthwash can all be poisonous to children

If you think your child has swallowed a harmful medicine or chemical:

  • Get advice immediately from your doctor
  • Find the bottle or packet and take it with you if you go to the hospital
  • Don’t give your child salt water or anything to make them sick
  • If the child is unconscious, or if there is burning to the mouth, dial 999 immediately to call an ambulance.