Early Care and Education Providers:
                             What You  Need  to Know
                             About  Pesticide  Poisoning
They buzz, they burrow, they crawl, they sting,
they bite, they munch, and they torment. From
insects to rodents, they can make our lives difficult. Pests,
such as ants, cockroaches, mice, rats, and termites, can be
particularly troublesome to families if left unchecked. However,
many families are unaware of the serious health risks
associated with the improper storage or use of household
pesticides, the products we use to control or kill pest
populations in and around a home.

We encourage child care providers to teach families about
the possible health effects pesticides can have on young
children as well as the simple pesticide poisoning prevention
efforts that they can incorporate into their regular household
activities. In this way, families are armed with important safety
knowledge that lets them make smart choices that effectively
protect their children.

One of the simplest and most effective methods of preventing
pesticide poisoning is storing household pesticides out of
reach of small children in high, locked cabinets.

Pesticides. What are  they?

Pesticides are products used in and around the home to
control insects (insecticides), termites (termiticides), rodents
(rodenticides), fungi (fungicides), weeds (herbicides), and
         microbes (disinfectants). They can be sold in the form of
         sprays, powders, crystals, or balls. Since most pesticides are
         specifically created to be poisonous to pest populations, there
         are many potential risks associated with their improper use.

         How do children  come in

         contact with  pesticides?
         Children can come into contact with pesticides stored or
         applied in their homes, yards, day-care facilities, schools,
         parks, or on pets.

         Children often touch things (that may be contaminated with
         a pesticide) and put their hands in their mouths. They also
         crawl and play on floors, grass, or in spaces that might be
         contaminated with pesticides. These activities may put them at
         higher risks for poisoning. Exposure to pesticides may cause
         serious damage to a child's health.

         What are the symptoms  of

         pesticide poisoning?
         Pesticide poisoning symptoms may appear similar to the flu.
         If a child is experiencing any of the following symptoms listed
         below, contact your Poison Control Center immediately.
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   • The American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) data show that more than 50 percent
     of the two million poisoning incidents each year involve children younger than six years old.
   • Each year, poison centers receive thousands of calls from the public with concerns about potential
     exposure to common household pesticides.
   • Over 90 percent of calls to the poison control centers concern poisonings that occur in the home.
   • Among households with children under the age of five, close to half stored at least one pesticide
     product within reach of a child.
   • Nearly 75 percent of households with no children under the age of five stored  pesticides in an
     unlocked cabinet within a child's reach—a significant figure since 13 percent of all pesticide poison-
     ings occur in homes other than that of the child.

      For more information on pesticides or pesticide poisoning prevention, refer to EPA's Pesticides Program
    Web site at www.epa.gov/pesticides, or call the National Pesticide Information Center at 1-800-858-7378.
Immediate short-term effects include:
• Headaches,
• Dizziness,
• Muscle twitching,
• Weakness,
• Tingling sensations, and
• Nausea.

How can pesticide poisoning
affect a  child's health?
Pesticide poisoning is especially harmful to children since their
brain and nervous systems are at the early, critical stages of
development.  The effects are not always immediate, and
may show up years later as unknown illnesses.  Because their
bodies are still growing, children have less natural defenses
and can develop serious health effects if overexposed to
Long-term exposure to pesticides  may
cause serious health effects such as:
• Birth defects;
• Learning disabilities;
• Behavioral changes;
• Organ damage;
• Forms of cancer, including leukemia, breast cancer,
  and brain tumors;  or
• Asthma symptoms.

Where are pesticides commonly
Bathrooms and kitchens are the most likely areas of the home
to contain improperly stored pesticides.

Common household pesticides in  these
areas are:
• Roach sprays and  baits;
• Bath and kitchen disinfectants and sanitizers, including
• Rat and other rodent poisons;
• Insect repellents;
• Products used to kill mold or mildew; and
• Flea and tick shampoos, powders, and dips for pets.
                                      Other household pesticides include:
                                      • Swimming pool chemicals and
                                      • Weed killers.

                                      How can  pesticide poisoning
                                      be prevented?
                                      Curiosity is a normal stage of a child's developmental process.
                                      These explorers are at greater risk for accidental poisoning.

                                      By  practicing the following pesticide
                                      poisoning  prevention guidelines, innocent
                                      mistakes don't have to turn into tragedies:
                                      • Always store pesticides away from children's reach,
                                        in a locked cabinet.
                                      • Install safety latches on cabinets.
                                      • Read the label first. Follow the directions exactly as
                                        they are written on the label.
                                      • Remove children, pets, and their toys before applying
                                        pesticides (inside or outside).
                                      • Re-close a pesticide product if ever interrupted during
                                        application (e.g., phone call, doorbell, etc.).
                                      • Store pesticides in their original containers since a child
                                        can mistake another container for food or drink.
                                      • Use child-resistant packaging correctly by tightly sealing
                                        the container after every use.
                                      • Teach children that "pesticides are poisons" and not
                                        to be touched.
                                      • Program or post the Poison Control Centers' national hotline
                                        number, 1-800-222-1222, in or near your phone.
United States
Environmental Protection
EPA 735-F-09-003