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Spring is here and, along with the warmer temperatures, homeowners will begin the traditional spring cleaning. That means using household chemicals that can increase the risk of accidental poisoning, especially around small children. Another very real poisoning risk for children is common household medicines.

According to the National Poison Prevention Week Council, approximately 30 children die every year due to accidental poisonings, and approximately 1 million phone calls are placed to Poison Control Centers annually by adults seeking help when children have swallowed something harmful.

Many poisonings happen when adults are distracted for just a few moments by the telephone, doorbell, or something else. "It only takes a few moments for a small child to grab and swallow something that could be poisonous," says Allstate Agent Kevin Gwozdz. "This is why adults must make sure household chemicals and medicines are stored away from children at all times, and that they know what to do if kids swallow something they are not supposed to."

To help prevent accidental poisoning in your home, Allstate Insurance Company and the National Poison Prevention Week Council offer the following safety tips:

Use child-resistant packaging properly by closing the container securely after use.

Keep all chemicals and medicines locked up and out of sight.

Call the poison center immediately in case of poisoning. The new national toll-free number for poison control centers is 1-800-222-1222. Keep on hand a bottle of ipecac syrup but use it only if the poison center instructs you to induce vomiting.

When household cleaning products are in use, never let young children out of your sight, even if you must take them along when answering the phone or doorbell.

Keep items in original containers.

Leave the original labels on all products, and read the label before using.

Do not put decorative lamps and candles that contain lamp oil where children can reach them because lamp oil is very toxic.

Always leave the light on when giving or taking medicine. Check the dosage every time.

Avoid taking medicine in front of children. Refer to it as "medicine," not "candy."

Clean out the medicine cabinet periodically, and safely dispose of unneeded medicines when the illness for which they were prescribed is over. Pour contents down drain or toilet, and rinse container before discarding.

For additional information on accidental poisoning prevention or to receive information on other safety topics, contact Allstate Agent Kevin Gwozdz, located at 5721 Covington Road in Fort Wayne. Kevin can be reached at 260-436-2787.

The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL) is the nation's largest publicly held personal lines insurer. Widely known through the "You're In Good Hands With Allstate®" slogan, Allstate provides insurance products to more than 16 million households and has more than 13,600 exclusive agencies and financial specialists in the U.S. and Canada. Customers can access Allstate products and services through Allstate agents, or in select states at allstate.com and 1-800 Allstate®. EncompassSM and Deerbrook® Insurance brand property and casualty products are sold exclusively through independent agents. Allstate Financial Group includes the businesses that provide life, annuity and insurance, retirement, banking and investment products through distribution channels that include Allstate agents, independent agents, worksite, financial institutions and broker-dealers.


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