Unfortunately, poisons are all around you. The best defense against ingesting something that can make you ill is knowledge. Many common substances are perfectly safe if taken in moderation but become dangerous in heavy doses.
Common Poisons Found in Your Home:
Pain medication such as Ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin are a Godsend for headaches and achy muscles, but an overdose can lead to kidney damage, ulcers or possibly a coma. Although these medications are commonly sold over the counter and taken quite safely, they can still lead to poisoning especially in children who may not be aware of what they are taking. Be sure to only buy medications in bottles with tamper-evident caps to reduce the risk of accidental overdose.
Household cleaning supplies tend to contain acid, alkalis or bleach to help them live up to their promise to cut grime and kill mold and mildew. Even in a mild or watered-down form, these chemicals can still lead to injury if swallowed or inhaled. It’s important to always wear gloves and safety glasses when cleaning especially if you mix your own formulas which could lead to liquid splash back in your eyes. One solution is to make your own non-toxic cleaning products.
A few plants can be poisonous if eaten. Some plants warn you of their toxicity in their name such as deadly nightshade, also called atropa belladonna. Others, you probably had no idea are poisonous and are in your garden right now such as azaleas, lantana and oleander. Although few adults munch on plant leaves, children and dogs are not always as wise. There are hidden dangers in some fruits as well. Apples, apricots and cherries, for example, contain poisonous seeds and leaves even though the fruit itself is perfectly safe and delicious.
Knowing how to keep yourself and your loved ones safe requires constant vigilance. Keep dangerous products out of reach and avoid repackaging medications or cleaning supplies. Never eat anything from the garden without doing a little research first.