Mitzi Parker: Beware of poisons in your home

Published 3:00 pm Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Most of us like to think our homes are safe. In reality, your home is filled with many potentially dangerous products. Each year over two million poisonings are reported in the United States. Taking care of your home requires the use of many products, some of which contain poisonous, flammable or corrosive ingredients that can be hazardous if used, stored or disposed of incorrectly.
Learning how to properly use, store and dispose of potentially dangerous products is crucial to the safety of both children and adults. Below are 10 poison prevention tips to help protect you and your family.
• Buy fewer products that contain poisonous ingredients.
• Leave products in their original containers.
• Read labels and use products as directed.
• Never mix household products. Bleach should not be mixed with products containing ammonia or acids such as vinegar. Mixing products can produce dangerous gases.
• Store products in cabinets with child safety locks.
• Do not leave products unattended.
• Learn more about the ingredients in the household products you purchase. You can find out what is in many of the products you buy on the Household Products Database (
• Store medications out of the reach of children.
• Discard old or outdated products.
• Use common sense when purchasing, using and storing products. Even a “green” product is not 100 percent safe.
Post the contact number for the Poison Control Helpline (1-800-222-1222) by all home phones and add Poison Control to your cell phone contacts. Poison centers offer free, confidential medical advice 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This service provides a primary resource for poisoning information and helps reduce costly hospital visits through in-home treatment. The American Association of Poison Control Centers supports the nation’s 55 poison centers in their efforts to prevent and treat poison exposures. For other great tips on poison prevention visit the American Association of Poison Control Centers website

Mitzi Parker is Sumter County Extension agent/Family and Consumer Sciences, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service, Southwest District. Contact her at 229-924-4476.