There are a lot of 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, Director of the Regional Poison Control Center at Children’s of Alabama, 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,” said Slattery.
Some examples of dangerous items often kept in purses:
A non-childproof pill container: 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: Could lower heart rate and blood pressure. (Especially eye drops that remove redness)
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 all purses and bags away, including your guests. “For children five and under this would be something we would worry about,” said Slattery. Just keep it out of sight and out of reach.” Likewise, be mindful of the contents in your purse when you visit someone else’s home where there are 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.
ABOUT CHILDREN’S OF ALABAMA
Since 1911, Children’s of Alabama has provided specialized medical care for ill and injured children, offering inpatient and outpatient services throughout central Alabama. Ranked among the best pediatric medical centers in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, Children’s provided care for youngsters from every county in Alabama, 45 other states and six foreign countries last year, representing more than 677,000 outpatient visits and more than 15,000 inpatient admissions. With more than 2 million square feet, Children’s is the third largest pediatric medical facility in the U.S. More information is available at childrensal.org.