By Molly Hooven, Washington,D.C
During National Poison Prevention Week, March 17-23, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) urges parents and caregivers to secure pesticides and other household chemicals in locked cabinets out of children’s reach.
“Poison Prevention Week is a time to raise awareness and strengthen prevention efforts to empower parents and caregivers with information about simple steps that can be taken to prevent poisonings,” said James Jones, acting assistant administrator for the EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “EPA continues to take action to help prevent these risks to children and help ensure that the products on the market are both safe and effective for consumers. Our recent move to ban the sale of 12 D-Con mouse and rat poison products produced by Reckitt Benckiser Inc is a prime example of our commitment.”
Each year, approximately 65,000 children ages 5 and younger are accidentally exposed to pesticides, and more than 10,000 of those exposures involve mouse and rat poisons. Recently, EPA took steps that, with the help of Americans who use these products around their homes, could help lower these statistics. Under new EPA safety standards, consumer use mouse and rat poison products must include a protective tamper-resistant bait station. These measures prevent children from accessing the poison.
More than 90 percent of poisonings happen in people’s homes. Parents and caregivers can protect children and loved ones against pesticide exposure.
Poisonings are preventable. Here are some simple tips to prepare and stay safe:
Always store pesticides and other household chemical products in a locked cabinet.
To protect children and pets from exposure to mouse and rat poison, use products with a tamper-resistant bait station.
Go through your home room by room to see where there are potential poisoning hazards and correct accordingly.
Use child-resistant packaging properly by closing the container tightly after use.
Never transfer pesticides and other household chemical products to containers that may be mistaken for food or drink.
Program the Poison Help Center number, 1-800-222-1222, in your phone.