Unfortunately, children face a very high risk of unintentional poisoning. Recently, two young siblings from Albuquerque, New Mexico tested positive for lead poisoning from makeup purchased from Afghanistan. The older child’s blood contained 27 micrograms of lead per deciliter, which is more than five times the level the Centers for Disease Control considers dangerous. The younger sibling’s lead levels were even higher.

An unintentional poisoning can happen to anyone at anytime, and it often involves common household items. Consider the following points about poison safety:

Tips to prevent poisoning

There are many easy steps you can take to prevent a poison tragedy in your home. Make sure all medicines, whether prescription or over-the-counter drugs, are stored away in an area that is inaccessible to children. Place all dangerous chemicals, such as pesticides and drain cleaners, in a locked cabinet where young children cannot gain entry. You should also research whether your household and yard plants are toxic, and if so, place them above children’s reach or remove them from your home.

Signs and symptoms of poisoning

Because of the wide variety of dangerous household chemicals, there are number of different signs and symptoms that may indicate poisoning. Be wary if you notice any of the following:

  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • Dilated or constricted pupils
  • Hyperthermia
  • Jaundice

If you suspect a poisoning situation, call for emergency assistance immediately. If the poisoning victim is alert and awake, dial the poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim is not breathing, dial 911. Be prepared to give the call operator your address, details about the chemical substance, and the victim’s age and weight. Try to stay calm and follow the call operator’s instructions.

If you or a loved one is the victim of a poisoning, you may have a strong lawsuit against several liable parties. Contact a skilled chemical and pesticide exposure attorney to discuss your options.