« 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.
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.
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.