FRIDAY, June 8 (HealthDay News) -- If you have children or pets, you've probably looked around your house to see what potential hazards you need to lock up or move, like the cleaning products under the sink. But it's easy to overlook something a child might find appealing.
That windshield washer fluid in the garage might look like a big jug of blue fruit drink to a child. Medication that's red and round can look a lot like a candy to a youngster.
No home can be 100 percent safe, but you can take steps to protect your family from the most serious threats in your home.
"You have to anticipate what kids might do," said Rose Ann Soloway, a clinical toxicologist with the National Capital Poison Center in Washington, D.C. "They're smart and fast, and they like to imitate us."
"I compare children getting into medicines and poisons to a young child rolling over for the first time and falling off a bed or couch," Soloway said. "How often do you hear parents say, 'I didn't know he could do that' when a child rolls over for the first time? While it's not possible to be with a child 24 hours a day, it's important that the things that can really hurt them have as many barriers as possible. Keep anything dangerous locked up and out of reach. Children rely on us to provide a safe environment."
So what are the biggest problems that could be lurking in your home?
"The most dangerous are probably medications," said Dr. Jennifer Lowry, a medical toxicologist at Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics in Kansas City. "Parents don't always put them away. Grandparents don't always remember that they could be an issue. Their medications may be in pill boxes that are easy to open. And, older adults are on more medications that can be toxic to children."
Soloway said that the medications of greatest concern when taken by those who don't need them are blood pressure and hear
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