March 20 (HealthDay News) -- To keep from being among the millions accidentally exposed to a harmful dose of poison, people need to be diligent -- not just during National Poison Prevention Week but always -- when handling potentially noxious materials, warns the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Children younger than 6 are involved in more than half of the 2 million poison exposure incidents reported each year, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers.
As precautions, the EPA recommends that people:
- Always read the instructions about a product's use and storage first and follow them exactly.
- Keep harmful products, including cleaners and pesticides, in their original containers to prevent accidental misuse. This will also keep necessary information handy if a problem does occur.
- Never leave poisonous products unattended when using them.
- Lock poisons, cleaning supplies and similar products in a storage area -- a cabinet, closet or shed -- that children and pets cannot access.
- Keep the phone number for the Poison Control Center hot line -- (800) 222-1222 -- handy.
SOURCE: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, news release, March 16, 2009