Preventing pesticide poisoning in the home
IN 2015, the Ministry of Health reported that nine per cent of the accidental poisoning cases were as a result of pesticides, ranking it as the third most common causative agent. Young children up to five years old are the most common victims of accidental poisoning, especially those two years and younger. This is due to their inquisitive nature which drives them to explore their environment. As a result, they may put things in their mouths, unaware of the consequences.
Household pesticides are usually in the form of insecticides (ants powder, cockroach powder, and aerosol sprays), rodenticides (rat poison/bait) and herbicides (weedkillers). The properties that make pesticides deadly to the targeted organism can sometimes make them poisonous to humans. The negative effects of pesticides can increase when they are not used or stored as directed.
Many pesticides can cause poisoning after being swallowed, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin.
In Jamaica, the major cause of accidental pesticide poisoning in children is rat bait, which is usually placed out on the floor for the rodent to eat.
There are certain steps that we must also take in an effort to prevent pesticide poisoning in the home. Store pesticides in their original container with proper labels. Read the entire label carefully and follow all the label directions. Store pesticides in a locked cupboard, out of the reach of children and pets. Keep children and pets away from areas being treated with pesticides. Ensure product
IIIIIcontainers are safely out of reach while they are being applied. Never store pesticides in the same cupboard as food, or in food and drink containers. Close pesticide containers and return to storage area immediately after use to avoid accidents. Discuss the dangers of pesticides with children.
By practising these safety precautions, we can prevent these poisonings.
For additional information on the prevention of accidental poisonings, contact: