HEALTH WATCH: Accidental Poisoning

Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 02:54 PM CDT
HEALTH WATCH:  Accidental Poisoning story image
ESCAMBIA COUNTY   --  Escambia County ranks poorly compared to other Florida counties  when it comes to accidental poisonings.

((Lieutenant TJ Smith is the head of the Escambia County Hazardous Materials team.  He's taking a chemical inventory of this house, identifying what the family is doing right -- and wrong -- when it comes to products and grade the house for safety.

Smith says the most dangerous area poison-wise inside a home is usually under the kitchen sink. This family does get a few points for having safety latches -- however.

(("Even having safety locks on the doors, the safety locks are a preventative, but they're not an end all to keep kids away from the materials."))
   
Materials like glass cleaner -- Smith says it's easy to get into  -- the container does not have one safety feature.
   
Smith says to a  small child,  this can appear to be kool-aid, or juice.
Smith says it's also common for young kids to mistake this kind of moisturizing soap is vanilla pudding -- and drink it. 
   
He is happy to see the family's vitamins and over the counter pain meds stored up and away -- and their prescription pills are on top of the fridge.
A good start -- but crawlers become climbers overnight -- and they too -- should be locked away.

The garage is the other danger zone Right off the bat -- Smith sees the laundry soap and bleach are accessible, but  other concoctions are high up and behind doors. Time for the really toxic items the yard chemicals.
     
Herbicides and pesticides are the deadliest chemicals homeowners have.  The cabinet they're in here does at least have a latch but it's not locked.

(("They do have a safety catch on the door but children are pretty ingenious and they're pretty effective at manipulating safety catches.  It would be better to have an actual lock on the cabinet than a catch on the door."))
   
Smith finds a major haz mat no-no -- chemicals kept in containers they didn't come in.  This turns out to be plant food but Smtih says a child may think it's colored sugar, or pop rocks candy.
   
Inspection complete -- Smith's ready to hand out his chemical safety report card.
(("Probably a B plus, or an A minus, cause there is still some room for improvement, but they are doing quite a bit very well with the safety of the materials."))HEALTH WATCH: Accidental Poisoning
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