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From Cleaning Products to Potted Plants — Hidden Poisons That Could Harm Your Child

Think your children are safe in your home? Learn about these common household poisons you may never have considered.


As a mother, my most important job is to keep my children safe. If they are not in my presence, I never stop worrying and wondering about what they may be getting in to. It is, in fact, a full time job. We can do everything in our power to keep them out of the street and from falling off of their bikes, but what about the other hazards that we so commonly forget about like the ones right in our homes?

A study conducted by the National Capitol Poison Center, on children in the DC Metro Area, indicated that 16,655 children below the age of seven were exposed to poisons during 2013. Most of those incidents were attributed to personal care products, cleaners, and medications. But, those are far from the only safety concerns lurking in our cabinets.

Common household poisons and pesticides include:

-Roach, rat repellent, insect, flea and tick repellents and shampoos. These products all contain some form of poison and should not be ingested by humans or pets.

– Cleaning products including drain cleaner, oven cleaner, toilet bowl cleaner, bleach, dishwasher detergent, furniture polish, and rust remover. These are all very common household cleaners. Most will cause a burn if swallowed and a second burn if it comes back up. If a human or animal swallows any of these things doctors urge you to not make them vomit.

-Cosmetics and personal care items like mouth wash, hair and nail products. Mouth wash contains twice the amount of alcohol than wine. If ingested it can cause throat bleeding and stomach upset. Hair dye is made out of chemicals that can cause serious problems if swallowed. A few symptoms include bloody stool, vomiting, and breathing problems. Most nail polish is also made with chemicals and can cause hallucinations, seizures, and coma if ingested. It is even discouraged to use nail polish and nail polish remover in excess while pregnant.

-Prescription and cold medications. Medications should not be taken by anyone other than whom they are prescribed to, and should only be taken as often as labeled with proper dosage. With their appealing colors and resemblance to candies and gummies, it is especially important to keep these items out of a child’s sight. Studies have shown that children can get into bottles such as Ibuprofen in 3-5 seconds! Federal regulation only requires medication bottles to be child resistant, not childproof.

– Paint thinner, paint remover, kerosene, lighter fluid, antifreeze, and windshield washer fluid. All of these products contain harmful poisons and should be kept away from children, especially when the product is bright colored and resembles juice like windshield washer fluid and antifreeze.


– Household plants like Philodendron, Holly Berries, Jerusalem Cherry, Amaryllis, Daffodils, and Mistletoe. These plants are all a concern to children and pets if eaten. Some are bright in color and have berries, making them especially appealing to anyone who may not know the difference.

For a list of even more poisons to look out for, check with the EPA.

If you feel that you may be dealing with a poison scenario, call The National Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222).

Prevent an accidental poisoning with just a few steps:

-Lock up anything that you know to be poisonous. Keeping the above list in mind, get down to a child’s level, or a pet’s level, and relocate any poison to a locked cabinet.

-Use all-natural products. More and more people have been making the switch to eco-friendly and homemade cleaners and repellents. This provides them with a sense of satisfaction and peace of mind knowing that their family is safe.

It is EarthKind®’s mission to preserve the good, prevent the rest, providing households with botanical options for rodent control. With our StayAway® product line, you can protect your home from ants, moths, spiders and rodents, all while ridding your home of harmful poisons.

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