Iowa Poison Control Center
24 Hours / 7 Days a Week 1.800.222.1222

Potential Poison, Will Travel

As the season approaches, plans for family vacations begin to develop. This is a good time to consider common poisonings that occur when children are in unfamiliar surroundings, guests are in your home or children are participating in unusual activities. It is often difficult to maintain a "poison-proof" environment during the travel season, but a few simple steps should help reduce the chance of an accidental poisoning in children.

Think of your destination. Whether it is someone's house, a motel or cabin, as "home away from home" a quick safety check upon arrival is recommended. Move cleaning products, supplies for the grill, ashtrays, hazardous appliances and sharp objects to a safe storage place. Consider bringing along plugs for open electrical sockets.

Store medication and personal supplies, such as cosmetics, mouthwash, insect repellant or sunscreen, in suitcases locked in a vehicle's trunk while traveling. Upon arrival, store these articles in an out-of-reach area, preferably up high. Children can easily get into suitcases or other items placed on the floor, luggage racks or counters.

Avoid bringing along "a few pills" in an unmarked container, such as pill boxes or small plastic bags. These are not child-resistant and they are unlabeled as to content or quantity, therefore, it would be difficult to determine what and how much a child ingested. Always keep medication in it's original container.

Visitors who are not used to the activity of children may need to be reminded about proper storage of personal belongings, purses and suitcases. All medication, especially prescription items, brought into a home should be labeled and have a child-resistant cap. Offer visitors a safe place to store their personal products and medications while staying in your home.

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