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Middlesex-London Health Unit

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Poison Prevention

Did you know? Most poisonings occur in children less than 6 years of age, yet most poisonings are both predictable and preventable.

 

Safety Tips

Cannabis Edibles

Carbon Monoxide

Laundry Detergent Packets

Medicine Safety

Contact Us

For more information, please call Child Safety Middlesex London at 519-663-5317 or email childsafety@mlhu.on.ca.

 

Safety Tips

  • Actively supervise young children
  • Keep all poisons locked up and out of sight and reach of young children, this includes: medicines and herbal products, household cleaners, plants, antifreeze and windshield washer fluid
  • Install carbon monoxide alarms according to manufacturer’s instructions
  • Keep the number of the nearest Poison Centre nearby and stored in your cell phone1
  • Teach children the hazard symbols and what they mean2
 

Cannabis Edibles

Cannabis Edibles

Cannabis edibles may look appealing to children and youth, so make sure they are properly labelled, locked up and stored out of sight and reach of children and youth. Poisoning could occur if children or youth unintentionally eat edibles which could lead to serious health problems.

 

Cannabis and young children. How to keep them safe.

Cannabis (marijuana, pot, weed) use for non-medical purposes is now legal in Ontario for those 19 years of age and older.

Research has shown that the use of cannabis by individuals under 25 years of age while their brain is still developing can put them at increased risk of mental health concerns, poor school performance and problematic substance use later in life.3

What about young children?

Healthcare Providers across Canada have voiced concerns about an increase in Emergency Room visits due to accidental poisoning of children who have ingested cannabis products. It is predicted this rate will increase with the legalization of cannabis edibles.4

Children’s small body size and different metabolism means they are higher risk for poisoning. A cannabis product manufactured for adults can cause life-threatening symptoms in children such as respiratory distress, coma, seizures, disorientation and other symptoms of intoxication.5 Cannabis edibles such as cookies, squares (brownies), snack mixes, ice cream, beverages and candy are much more dangerous for children because:

  • They can be packaged to look like regular food or drinks, especially treats that may be more attractive to kids.
  • They often have a stronger and longer effects which can put children at a greater risk due to their smaller size and weight.4

How can we prevent accidental poisonings?

Just like other dangerous items such as poisons and prescriptions:

  • Lock them up! Put them up!
    Young children can be fantastic climbers. Storing cannabis products in a high cupboard is not enough. Use a locked box, such as a fishing tackle or tool box and put that box up high!
  • Out of sight, out of mind
    Make sure your children do not know where you store your locked-up items. Curious children love a tempting challenge.
  • Do not rely on “child-proof” containers!
    There is no such thing as a “child-proof” container. Child-resistant containers are only designed to slow down a child.
  • Talk with babysitters, caregivers, playdate parents
    Make sure that wherever your child is cared for, your concerns about safety are respected.
  • Have a plan for emergencies
    If you think your child ate any form of cannabis, even if they have no symptoms, get medical help right away! Call 911 immediately.7

More Information

To learn more about cannabis, please visit our cannabis page or www.canada.ca.

 

 

Laundry Detergent Packets

Laundry Detergent Packets

Laundry detergent packets are small and often brightly coloured, and may be mistaken by children for candy. These products often contain highly concentrated cleaning agents that can be dangerous if ingested or if they come into contact with skin or eyes, so always keep them locked out of sight and reach of children.

 

Did you know?

  • If ingested, laundry detergent packets can cause serious illness or even death.
  • If a laundry detergent packet bursts and comes into contact with skin it can cause serious skin reactions or chemical burns. Contact with the eye could result in temporary blindness or serious injury.

More Information

For more information about laundry detergent packets, please visit www.canada.ca.

 
Date of creation: February 27, 2013
Last modified on: December 6, 2019

References

1Parachute Canada. (February 15th, 2013). Poison Prevention. Retrieved from
http://www.parachutecanada.org/injury-topics/item/poison-prevention-lt
2Healthy Canadians. (2010-11-15). Poison Prevention. Retrieved from
http://www.healthycanadians.gc.ca/kids-enfants/injury-blessure/poison-empoisonnements-eng.php
3Canadian Pediatric Society. (2016). Marijuana: What parents need to know. Retrieved from
https://www.caringforkids.cps.ca/handouts/marijuana-what-parents-need-to-know
4CBC News. (2018). With legal marijuana, children's hospital braces for accidental poisonings. Retrieved from
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/cannabis-edibles-children-doctors-halifax-1.4876268
5Health Nexus. (2019) Risks of Cannabis on Fertility, Pregnancy, Breastfeeding and Parenting. Retrieved from
https://resources.beststart.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/A30-E.pdf
6American Academy of Pediatrics. (2017). Edible Marijuana Dangers: How Parents Can Prevent Pot Poisoning. Retrieved from
https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/teen/substance-abuse/Pages/Edible-Marijuana-Dangers.aspx
7Ontario Poison Centre. (2019). Poison prevention. Retrieved from
http://www.ontariopoisoncentre.ca/for-families/poison-prevention/poison-prevention.aspx