Tips for keeping children safe from pesticide exposure

BISMARCK – Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring urges farmers, ranchers, homeowners and others who have and use pesticides to make sure these chemicals are kept out of the reach of children.

“This is National Poison Prevention Week, a time for parents and caregivers to make sure their  chemicals and pesticides are in locked cabinets and out of the reach of children,” Goehring said. “Poison centers across the country annually receive more than 150,000 calls involving pesticides and disinfectants. Tragically, more than half of pesticide exposures involve children five years or younger.”

Goehring encouraged pesticide users to follow these recommendations:

  • First, read the product label and follow the directions to the letter.
  • Never leave products unattended when you are using them.
  • Re-close products if you are interrupted during application.
  • Use child-resistant packaging properly by closing the container tightly after use.
  • Never transfer pesticides to other containers; children may associate certain containers with food or drink.
  • Remove children, pets, and toys before applying pesticides (inside or outside the home). Follow label directions to determine when children and pets can re-enter the area that has been treated.
  • Never use illegal pesticides. These products have not been reviewed by EPA, and their use may pose a danger to public health. Always look for an EPA registration ID number on the label. (Example: EPA Reg. No. 500-123456).
  • Post the Poison Control Centers' national helpline number, 1-800-222-1222, near the phone. Program the number into the phone's "address book" or redial feature.

Goehring said more information about poisoning prevention is available at www.epa.gov/pesticides/health/poisonprevention.htm.