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Play it Safe: Reduce Your Child's Chances of Pesticide Poisoning

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Current as of July 2007

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Pesticides: What are they?

coverReduce your Child's Chances of Pesticide Poisoningphoto of two children with a soccer ballA pesticide is any bait, liquid, powder, or spray used to kill a pest (ants, germs, cockroaches, flies, mice, rats, or termites).

You turn your head and your toddler is inserting a sandwich half into the DVD player. Mostly, we're lucky; our momentary slipups as parents aren't too harmful. However, some close calls can be scary-like catching your three-year-old holding a can of bug spray.

Most people aren't aware that household pesticides, the products we use in and around our homes to kill ants, germs, cockroaches, flies, mice, rats, and termites, can harm a child's health if stored or used improperly.

Each year thousands of children under the age of six are poisoned by common household pesticide products. Many parents still store pesticide products within the reach of children. One of the simplest ways of preventing pesticide poisoning is to store household products out of a child's reach.

Accidents are bound to happen in life, but we can't depend solely on good fortune to protect our kids from harm's way. Play it safe. With some simple prevention steps, you can assure a safe and healthy home for your family despite life's unpredictable moments.

How do children come in contact with pesticides?

Photo of baby boy crawling on the floor.Children can come into contact with pesticides stored or applied in their homes, yards, day-cares, schools, parks, or on pets.

Children often touch things (that may contain a pesticide) and put their hands in their mouths. They also crawl and play on floors, grass, or in spaces that might contain pesticides. These activities may put them at higher risks for poisoning. Contact with pesticides may cause serious harm to a child's health.

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How do you know if your child has been poisoned?

The signs of pesticide poisoning may look like the flu. If your child shows any of the following signs after coming in contact with a pesticide, call your poison control center right away.

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How can I make sure that my child doesn't get poisoned?

Use these tips to help you poison-proof your home

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