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Poison Prevention Tips for Children

Children under the age of six are at the greatest risk for unintentional poisoning. They are curious by nature and investigate their world by putting most things in their mouths. They will eat or drink anything regardless of how it tastes. Children like the attractive packaging, good smells and are drawn to the colorful substances of many of the products found around the home.

Household and Chemical Products

  • Use safety locks on all cabinets. Store potential poisons out of reach of small children.
  • Store all poisonous household and chemical products out of sight of children.
  • If you are using a product and need to answer the telephone or doorbell, take the child with you. Most poisonings occur when the product is in use.
  • Store all products in their original containers. DO NOT use food containers such as milk jugs or soda bottles to store household and chemical products.
  • Store food and household and chemical products in separate areas. Mistaken identity could cause a serious poisoning. Many poisonous products look-a-like and come in containers very similar to drinks or food. An example of this is apple juice and pine cleaner.
  • Return household and chemical products to safe storage immediately after use.
  • Use extra caution during mealtimes or when the family routine is disrupted. Many poisonings take place at this time.
  • Pesticides can be absorbed through the skin and can be extremely toxic. Keep children away from areas that have recently been sprayed. Store these products in a safe place where children cannot reach them.
  • Discard old or outdated household and chemical products.
  • Use a poison safety checklist to poison proof your home. Each room in the house has a potential for a poisoning emergency.
  • Take time to teach children about poisonous substances.
  • Take time to teach children about poisonous substances.
  • Keep the telephone number of your local Poison Control Center on or near your telephone.


  • Keep medicines completely out of the reach of children.
  • Make sure that all medicines are in child-resistant containers and labeled properly. Remember child resistant does not mean child proof.
  • Never leave pills on the counter or in a plastic bags. Always store medicines in their original container with a child-resistant cap.
  • Keep purses and diaper bags out of reach of children.
  • Avoid taking medicines in front of children. Young children often imitate "grown-ups."
  • DON'T call medicine candy. Medicines and candy look alike and children cannot tell the difference.
  • Vitamins are medicine. Vitamins with iron can be especially poisonous. Keep them locked up and out of reach of children.
  • Be aware of medicines that visitors may bring into your home. Children are curious and may investigate visitor's purses and suitcases.
  • Keep a bottle of Ipecac Syrup in your medicine cabinet. Make sure the babysitter knows where you store your Ipecac Syrup. Do not use the syrup unless instructed by the Poison Control Center or your doctor.
  • Keep the telephone number of your local Poison Control Center on or near your telephone.


Below are safety tips regarding plants. If you need more information about plants in your area or would like a list of poisonous and non-poisonous plants, contact your local Poison Control Center.