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Child Safety Protection Month: Tips to Make Your Vehicle Child Friendly

November is Child Safety Protection Month, during which many organizations will be sharing tips to ensure a safe environment for our children. While much of Child Safety Protection Month messaging promotes safety tips around the home, AskPatty joins with OnStar to provide these following tips to help parents keep their children safe while riding in their car.

As parents, we go to great lengths to ensure the children in our lives are safe. We childproof our homes and install car and booster seats to keep young children safe in our vehicles. But is your vehicle ready for holiday travel? We're not talking about getting directions, or diagnostics checks, or making sure your tablets are well-charged for gameplay along the way. More specifically, we're talking about taking additional precautions to prevent in-vehicle poisonings.

According to Poison Control, children are the most likely victims of a poisoning accident in a vehicle, by getting access to a purse that contains medication or getting into grocery bags with household products. Poison Control also receives a large amount of calls concerning those pesky silica gel packets that are commonly found in shoe boxes and other packaged goods. Of the nearly 2.5 million calls Poison Control receives each year, more than half were for children under five years old.

Here are five tips from Children's Hospital of Michigan Poison Control Center that can help keep your young passengers safe on the road and give you greater peace of mind during your travels.


1. Keep your purse closed and out of reach so little ones, who learn by putting items in their mouths, aren't tempted to investigate its contents. Medicines can be toxic, and coins are potential choking hazards and may contain bacteria.

2. Store emergency maintenance products -- such as motor oil, antifreeze, and brake fluid -- in the rear cargo area. Make sure they are always stored in their original containers and never in empty food or drink container, where they could be mistaken for something edible.

3. Regularly empty your vehicle's ashtray to keep kids from swallowing cigarette butts, which are designed to accumulate carcinogens and toxins like formaldehyde. Even if you don't smoke, be sure to empty your trash receptacle frequently to keep other trash out of your child's reach.

4. Avoid storing spray bottles or aerosol cans in your vehicle. What may seem harmless can have grave implications: that can of shoeshine spray, if sprayed inside the car, could get into eyes and coat the lungs.

5. Be sure to place groceries in the trunks so children won't get into household products like bleach or drain cleaner, or energy drinks with stimulants made for adults. It's also a good way to keep them out of the cupcakes before you get home.

With any poison-related issue, speed of treatment is important. Should your child accidentally ingest something potentially poisonous in or around your vehicle, help can be just a button push away with OnStar. Thanks to First Assist, OnStar Emergency Advisors specially trained in CPR, Advanced EMD (emergency medical dispatch), and more can offer critical - possibly lifesaving - assistance until help arrives. They're trained to help people dealing with choking, breathing problems, bleeding, or other emergencies.

For more poisoning prevention tips, check out the American Association of Poison Control Centers

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