Every household owner knows how difficult it is to deal with rodents at home, and so we use harsh chemicals and products in order to get rid of them.
But what happens when in the process of poisoning insects, we are actually poisoning or children?
According to a study published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, that’s already the scenario in some homes.
Analyzing the data from the National Poisons Hotline in 2014, the researchers discovered that almost half of the calls the hotline received were related to cockroach baits or ant liquid and children.
“Most of the calls involved children one year old,” said a Mama Mia report. “Researchers did not include data on children under the age of one due to their developmental stage of crawling and putting all objects in their mouth.”
A common ingredient found in home pest products is organophosphates. While not all insecticides contain the ingredient, those that do can be harmful to humans.
It is absorbed by the body through breathing, eating, and the simple skin contact.
According to SafeWork NSW, some of the short term effects of organophosphates includes headaches, excessive sweating, slurred speech and blurred vision.
Scarier still, its long term effects may lead to weakness, behavioural complications such as anxiety and restlessness. It can even affect one’s nervous system.
Like all things that are not suited for children, insecticides should be used when away from children. They must also be kept where children can’t get a hold of and play with them.
Next page, find out how to prevent accidental poisoning at home
Preventing accidental poisoning
- Keep items and substances like medicine, cleaning products, paints, chemicals, and even liquid cosmetics out of children’s reach. Label these items (if in generic containers) and keep them locked and/or away from food and play items
- Discard expired medication
- If possible, buy medication with safety caps
- Do not transfer medicine or other potentially poisonous products into food or beverage containers
- Do not leave insect poison on the floor or anywhere your child can reach
- Opt for non-toxic products whenever possible
- Follow instructions for the safe handling, use, storage, and disposal of products containing harmful substances
- Regularly wash children’s hands with soap. Clean toys and other items/places kids encounter daily, in order to minimize potential exposure to lead and other harmful chemicals
- Have a first-aid kit ready and easily accessible in different parts of the home
- Do not remove poisonous products from their original containers and keep product labels or inserts. These labels could contain life-saving information
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