Teaching: Client Care
■ Lock potentially toxic agents, including drugs and cleaning
agents, in a cupboard, or attach special plastic hooks to the
insides of cabinet doors to keep them securely closed.
Unlatching these hooks requires firmer thumb pressure
than small children can usually exert.
■ Avoid storing toxic liquids or solids in food containers, such
as soft drink bottles, peanut butter jars, or milk cartons.
■ Do not remove container labels or reuse empty containers
to store different substances. Laws mandate that the labels
of all poisons specify antidotes.
■ Do not rely on cooking to destroy toxic chemicals in plants.
Never use anything prepared from nature as a medicine or
■ Teach children never to eat any part of an unknown plant or
mushroom and not to put leaves, stems, bark, seeds, nuts, or
berries from any plant into their mouths.
■ Place poison warning stickers designed for children on con-
tainers of bleach, lye, kerosene, solvent, and other toxic sub-
■ Do not refer to medicine as candy or pretend false enjoy-
ment when taking medications in front of children; allow
them to see the necessity of the medicine without glamoriz-
■ Read and follow label directions on all products before us-
■ Keep syrup of ipecac on hand at all times. Syrup of ipecac is
a nonprescription emetic available in single-dose 15-mL
vials in all drugstores. Use it only after advice from the local
poison control center or the family physician.
■ Do not keep poisonous plants in the home, and avoid plant-
ing poisonous plants in the yard.The cooperative extension
agency in your county can provide a list of poisonous
■ Display the phone number of the poison control center near
or on all telephones in the home so that it is available to
babysitters, family, and friends.