Protect Your Children From Poisons at Home

Young children will eat and drink almost anything. Victims of accidental poisoning are usually children under the age of 5. Household cleaners and medicines are common causes of most accidents.

When using household cleaners or medicines, never let them out of your sight, even if you must take them with you to answer the telephone or doorbell. Children act fast. It takes only a moment for them to swallow something.

The most common "poisons"are:
  • household cleaners,
  • medicines and vitamins,including cough and cold preparations, pain medication,and iron tablets
  • indoor house plants
  • cosmetics
  • pesticides
  • kerosene, gasoline, furniture polish, lighter fluid, and many others.

  • Do not keep medicines and household cleaners on kitchen counters or bathroom surfaces.If possible, lock them up when not in use.
  • Store all household cleaners away from food.
  • Use child-resistant packaging for medicines and household cleaners. Close the container securely after use.
  • Avoid taking medicines in front of children. Children tend to imitate grown-ups.
  • Throw away medicines by flushing them down the toilet. Then rinse the container. Do not throw them in a waste-basket where children can find them.
  • Keep products in their original containers. Leave the original labels on all products.
  • Do not store chemicals in containers that normally hold food.

Be sure to keep all emergency numbers near the phone. Include your doctor and the Poison Control Center phone numbers. Also keep your name, address and phone number near the phone in case a babysitter or a friend needs to call.

Contact your local Poison Control Center for more information

This material is based upon work supported by the Extension Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under special project number 91-ESPN-1-5169 .

Produced by the University of California's Spanish Broadcast and Media Services, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Myriam Grajales-Hall, coordinator.

Disclaimer and Reproduction Information: Information in NASD does not represent NIOSH policy. Information included in NASD appears by permission of the author and/or copyright holder. More