Children's sensitive systems mean that they are particularly vulnerable to even small amounts of harmful substances, including those that are used in common household products. This places them at risk for poisoning. In fact, estimates suggest that more than 300 children per day receive poison treatment at United States emergency departments.
It is important for parents to keep any harmful substances well out of children's reach at all times, and to keep all products in their original containers. Parents should be aware that such products include not only cleaning products and other obvious toxins, but also medications and personal care products as well as alcohol. Children enjoy imitating adults, so medication should be contained and carefully monitored.
It is similarly important for families to be aware of any potential sources of carbon monoxide or lead in their homes. Appliances or furnaces with insufficient ventilation can cause the buildup of carbon monoxide in the air, as can the indoor use of outdoor grills. Dr. Lloyd Takao insists standard lead testing is important for families who live in older homes; additionally, families should take care to stay up-to-date on toy recalls and avoid items for children produced before 1978.