There are many poison dangers that parents of small children need to be aware of, from the cleaning products found in the kitchen to medicine stored in a bathroom. But there’s a hidden danger you may not have considered. How many poisonous items can be found in your purse or the purses of any guests in your home? Ann Slattery is the Director of the Regional Poison Control Center at Children’s of Alabama. She says a woman’s purse can contain any number of poison dangers. “When people come into your home they may bring things that are harmful to your child in their pocketbook,” she says.
Some examples of dangerous items often kept in purses:
– A non-childproof pill container: It could contain medications that are dangerous to a small child like heart medicine, an iron tablet, or a painkiller.
–Toothpaste: May cause an upset stomach and possible fluoride poisoning.
–Eye drops: Especially the ones that remove redness could lower heart rate and blood pressure.
–Hand sanitizer, hair spray, perfume: All contain alcohol and can cause intoxication, including the risk of respiratory arrest and death
–Button batteries: Can get lodged and burn through the esophagus quickly
–Hand lotion, nail polish, lipstick: All can be irritating to the stomach and potentially dangerous
Slattery says the dangers are especially present when small children five and under are the in home. She advises placing purses and bags, including your guests’ bags away. “For children five and under this would be something we would worry about, just keep it out of sight, out of reach,” she says. Likewise be mindful of the contents in your purse when you visit someone else’s home with small children.
If you suspect your child has ingested something poisonous, call the Regional Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222. The service is free and confidential, and health care providers are available to take calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week.