April 12, 2012
Au pairs learn household poisoning prevention

 Au pairs in Pennsylvania get a refresher lesson in Household Poisoning Prevention from staff at the Health Education Center at Lankenau Hospital.

Cultural Care’s Continuing Safety Education Program (CSEP) is designed to provide our au pairs with ongoing training in the area of child safety. During the first four months of the year, our local childcare coordinators (LCCs) focus on Household Poisoning Prevention. Some LCCs choose to teach the units on their own, like Zanny Perrino did with her group of 16 au pairs in northeastern MA. She says of the CSEP meeting, “I think some of us were surprised to learn how common accidental poisonings are in this country, especially with small children.”

Other LCCs, like Joanne Freed Belsky, choose to enlist the help of the experts to deliver this important safety information. Her group of 12 au pairs visited the Health Education Center at Lankenau Hospital to learn about household poisoning prevention from one of their staff members. By the end of the session, they had entered the number for the poison-control center into their cell phones and learned what to do in case of household poisoning.

Some tips to prevent household poisoning from Cultural Care’s curriculum are included here. So please take note and keep our children safe!

  • Ensure that all medications and household products are locked out of sight and out of reach of kids, even if they are labeled as child-resistant. Child-resistant does not mean child-proof. Items to watch for include cleaners, cosmetics and medicines.
  • Always read labels, follow directions and give medicines to kids based on their weights and ages. Only use the dispenser that comes packaged with medications.
  • Buy products in child-resistant packaging when available. Always store products in original packaging to avoid confusion.
  • Discard old medicine regularly by flushing it down the toilet.
  • Never create new cleaning solutions by mixing different products designed for other uses. New mixtures could be harmful to kids, and might not be stored in properly labeled or child-resistant containers.
  • Avoid taking medicine in front of kids, as they tend to mimic adult actions.
  • Never refer to medicine as candy.
  • For homes with a residential swimming pool, make sure pool supplies and chemicals are locked out of reach.
  • Make sure potentially poisonous plants are kept out of reach.
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