What You Can Do
- Teach your children not to eat mushrooms they find outside the house, such as in your backyard or in a sandbox. "Eating any mushroom collected outdoors should be considered dangerous," says the California Poison Control System.
- Never mix two household cleaners together until you determine if the combination could be poisonous. Did you know that the fumes from chlorine bleach mixed with ammonia or toilet bowl cleaners are toxic?
- Keep your child away from chores where you use furniture polish, pool chlorine, oven cleaner, nail polish remover, or anything else that smells foul. If it smells bad, chances are it is a no-no. Keep windows open when using these items.
- Ask at your local nursery which plants and plant-care products are harmful to children (and pets).
- When you buy toddler art supplies or other child versions of adult products, be sure they are labeled non-toxic.
- Keep all harmful or potentially harmful products in their original containers in the event you need to read the ingredients list to a medical professional. Never rely on the label's first aid advice; it may not be accurate.
Help your kids understand what's dangerous and what's not in your house. Just as you point out electrical outlets as too dangerous to touch, do the same with potential household toxins (and just as you cap those outlets, lock cabinets, keep household cleaners out of reach, and so on). And when your child is old enough, be sure to teach her how and when to dial 911.