Statement Article from
Message from the Minister of Health
National Poison Prevention Week - March 20-26, 2016
In Canada, unintentional poisoning is one of the leading causes of preventable injury and death among children under five. Thousands of children visit emergency rooms each year after consuming hazardous household chemicals found in their home. During Poison Prevention Week, March 20-26, 2016, I want to remind Canadians that poison prevention at home is key to keeping children safe.
One of the ways that young children explore their environment is by putting things in their mouths. Children can be quick to pick up a bottle, open a lid or put objects into their mouth and may not be deterred by bad tastes and odours. Even a small amount of a household chemical product can be harmful to a child so it is important to make sure you use, store and dispose of these products carefully.
Some important tips to help prevent poisonings from common household chemicals include:
- Keep chemicals, medications, cosmetics, cleaning supplies, pesticides and art supplies safely stored in a locked cabinet or box, out of sight and reach of children.
- Make sure all child-resistant containers are functioning properly.
- Teach children that the hazard symbols on household chemical products mean "Danger! Do not touch."
- Read and follow all product instructions.
- Store items in their original containers and keep all safety information.
- Keep laundry detergent packets out of reach as they are often appealing to children and may be mistaken for candy.
- Considering using a licensed pest control operator if you have a pest issue in your home.
- Keep emergency numbers by your telephone just in case. If a poisoning is suspected, you should contact your local Poison Control Centre or call 911 immediately.
I encourage everyone to take the time to be aware of the many hidden dangers around your home. Keep all household chemical products locked up, out of reach and out of sight!
The Honourable Jane Philpott, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Health
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