Cinnamon is, of course, perfectly safe sprinkled on porridge or added into dessert but, consumed ‘neat’, it can become a real health hazard. If your child gets hold of the jar/packet and swallows a mouthful of the powdered spice, they could suffer serious, possibly fatal, breathing problems.
We know to keep liquids locked up but what about detergent tablets? It’s the bright colours and sweet like qualities that could tempt children to put them in their mouths. You may think it’s obvious but hundreds of children are being accidentally poisoned and admitted to hospital each year after biting or eating gel capsules.
Fruity liquid soaps
They smell good enough to eat and that phrase wasn’t coined for nothing. We know that they’re not going to taste as good as they look but, obviously, a toddler is too young to fully understand that and you know they could be tempted to give that pump dispenser a push when your back is turned.
Don’t fool yourself that, if you put them up high enough on the fridge, out of your child’s reach, fridge magnets will be OK. It’s actually quite common for magnets to fall off – and get knocked off – and end up on the floor. The American College of Medical Toxicology warns that, as well as being choking hazards, fridge magnets can have potentially deadly consequences if they’re swallowed and then enter a child’s bowel.
Don’t leave batteries lying around in the kitchen or anywhere else – especially the small round ones which can be found in kitchen weighing scales, toys, watches and other small items. Once swallowed, they can leak caustic alkali and generate an electrical current that can lead to severe and damaging internal burns.
If you think your child has swallowed poison the St John’s Ambulance recommends
- Look for clues like empty packaging or bottles on the floor
- Call 999 for medical help and tell them as much information as possible
- Keep checking their breathing, pulse and level of response
- If they become unconscious, open their airway and check breathing
- Never try to make the person vomit, but if they vomit naturally then put some of their vomit into a bag or container and give it to the ambulance. This may help them identify the poison