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  Shelby Leith   March 16, 2017   Poison 0 Comments

Do you have hidden poisons lurking in your home?

Learn what chemicals and substances in your home pose a risk to the health of your family

Keep an eye out for innocent-looking household objects that are actually poisonous.

Under the kitchen sink … in the bathroom … in the laundry room … in the garage. Think of all of the different areas of your home where cleaners, chemicals and pesticides lurk. You know that many of these items are dangerous and lock them away, however, there are other items in your home that you may not realize could pose a serious threat to your health. Some of the most common household items are poisonous and therefore dangerous to you and your family.

Laundry detergent pods

These pretty little packets are extremely dangerous. Because of their nice shape and bright colors, these pods are very appealing to young children. The concentrated formulation inside can be deadly if ingested, and for this reason, it’s very important to store them up high, preferably locked up and out of reach from little hands.

Essential oils

These wonderful-smelling oils have become extremely popular in recent years with the increase in the use of home diffusers and the rise in popularity of aromatherapy techniques. Essential oils are derived from natural sources, and because of this, most of us assume that they are safe. Many essential oils are toxic if ingested, inhaled or even absorbed through the skin. They can cause seizures, severe breathing difficulties and even comas, especially in small children. Wintergreen, eucalyptus, sage and camphor are just a few to be cautious of. It’s very important to read all of the labels of your essential oils, use them only as directed and store them in a safe place, away from animals and children.


Greenery can make a beautiful addition to any home. Plants help to brighten up your house and aid in cleaning and purifying the air, but what many of us don’t realize is that many common household plants can actually be toxic to both people and animals. Dangerous and potentially life-threatening side effects can occur from eating the leaves, flowers, soil or even drinking the water from toxic plants. Some of the most common poisonous plants include: caladium, oleander, peace lily, pothos and poinsettia. Keep all plants out of reach of children and pets and do your research first before bringing a new plant into your home.

Eye drops

Many people think that because eye drops go into the eyes, they aren't harmful if taken orally. Eye drops can be very toxic, even deadly if ingested, especially by children. Eye drops are extremely concentrated, with enough medication in one tiny drop to heal your eye issues. When taken orally in large doses, eye drops can cause a severe drop in blood pressure, difficulty breathing, respiratory failure, coma and even death. Keep these little bottles out of reach of children.

Lead paint

In Louisiana, lead paint is still prevalent, especially in older homes. Poisoning occurs when someone swallows or inhales lead paint, and children are the most at risk. Louisiana does require lead testing; however, much of it still goes undetected. Lead isn’t limited to paint in your home. You can also find it in toys, pottery, antique metal like jewelry and food. The Louisiana Department of Health provides answers to frequently asked questions about this topic on its website.

Expired medications

Ingesting expired medicine can be harmful to your health because it loses its potency after its expiration date and you may end up taking more than needed to try and feel better. It's important to keep track of the medications in you medicine cabinet and properly dispose of medications you no longer need to avoid health risks.

It is important to remember that you should store all household chemicals and medications safely. Keep them up high, in a locked cabinet, out of the sight and reach of children and pets.

If you or a loved one has consumed any type of poison, you should immediately contact the Louisiana Poison Control Center located in Shreveport at 1-800-222-1222 or the Arkansas Poison Hotline at 1-800-376-4766. Help is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and trained health care professionals are available to give you immediate advice on what to do in an emergency poison situation.

Your local Velocity Care Urgent Treatment Center is here to help as well. With numerous convenient locations throughout Arkansas and Louisiana, our team is always available to help with any health care questions or concerns that you may have. Visit our website at www.velocitycare.com for more information on our services or to find a walk-in clinic near you.

Medicine that should be in your medicine cabinet

Photo credit: 123RF Stock Photo

Medical disclaimer

This site offers medical, health, fitness and nutritional information and is designed for educational purposes only. General information found on this website is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your health care professional.  If reading after hours, one option for treatment is to seek an urgent care or  walk-in clinic for medical advice. 

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