And I should know because I have been inside the Center. (Oooo…aahhhh…) I spent a few weeks at the Utah Poison Control Center as part of my final year at pharmacy school at the University of Utah and I learned tons of things I still use today (many of which have since been confirmed by personal experience). In honor of the Week-After-National Poison Prevention Week, I would like to share the top three tidbits with you:
- There is no such thing as child-PROOF. Any lock or cap or trick used to keep kids out of dangerous things only buys you time. Any parent can tell you that children are brilliant at getting to the things they really want. Just last week Little Miss got a chance to get close to the lock on our safety gate for the stairs and she had it open in less than two minutes. This was the first time she laid eyes or fingers on that lock. (I shouldn’t be surprised—her father was famous for being able to outwit those door handle child locks before his older brother could.) NEVER rely on a “childproof” product to protect your child.
- There is no such thing as out-of-reach for a small child. If they can see it, they can get it. They are crazy little monkeys. The poison control experts recommend storing dangerous chemicals high up and OUT-OF-SIGHT. Think the top shelf of your linen closet--I'm assuming your house is exactly like mine and your linen closet has a door. (Then you can tell your friends you use “top-shelf” window cleaner…I crack myself up.)
- The manufacturers of household chemicals are conspiring against your children. Just take a look at the juice bottles in your fridge and then look at your cleaning cupboard. Imagine you can’t read. Doesn’t that window cleaner look just like a blue sports drink? And that bottle of cherry cough syrup looks an awful lot like the fruit punch bottle you gave your kids for lunch—and it has cherries on the label! And this is where we see the smart-dumb phenomenon. As stated above, kids are smart when it comes to getting what they want but then when they get it they will eat and eat even though it tastes like garbage. Not the smartest move.