Stuffed Animal Safety Walk
Take a tour of your home with your child and his/her favorite stuffed playmate, such as a teddy bear. Encourage your child to teach "Teddy" what is safe to touch and what is not. Occasionally you may want to whisper a helpful hint such as “Be sure to tell Teddy just because something smells good doesn’t mean it is safe to drink.” You may want to show your child and Teddy a pleasant smelling cleaner to reinforce the lesson. Ask the child where the cleaner should be stored to keep it safe from Teddy. Ask your child to remind Teddy that the homes of friends and relatives may not always have potential poisons stored in locked cupboards, and medicines may be kept in containers that don’t look like medicine containers. Be sure your child tells Teddy to “always ask first.”
An instance of poisoning that many children are already familiar with is the famous poisoned apple Snow White unwittingly eats. The next time your family watches the movie or reads one of the many versions of the fairy tale available at your library, take the time to reinforce with your child some key poison safety concepts, such as always ask first before touching or tasting things. All potentially harmful substances do not have a skull and crossbones on them – most, like the apple, don’t. Some potentially harmful substances look and smell good, just like the apple. Some things that can be poisonous look very much like things that are not poisonous (i.e., medicine and candy). The best way to stay safe is to always ask first before touching, tasting or smelling. What would have happened if Snow White had asked the dwarves, whom she trusted, about the apple?