Preventing Childhood Poisonings: What You Need to Know
Lifestyle Children are most often poisoned at home. A poison center is the resource for poisonings, just in case, but simple steps prevent poisonings before they happen.
Each year, about 67,000 travel to an emergency room for a poisoning from medication alone.
Setting the stage
It happens over and over again every day throughout the U.S. Call data from U.S Poison Centers tells the story: A child in New York grabs a shiny bottle of medicine dosed to him just a few minutes earlier; a 2-year-old in Atlanta ingests a colorful cleaning product left within reach; a hungry toddler in Kansas finds cigarette butts left in an ashtray.
Children are curious! They like to explore and test boundaries. The good news is that with a little bit of effort from parents and caregivers, most poisonings are preventable.
Poison safety tips
Store medicines and cleaning products up high, out of reach and sight
Put medicines, vitamins, cleaning products and cosmetics away immediately after each use
Always secure safety tops on all products, locking properly after each use—but know that child-resistant tops only slows kids down
Read label directions and warnings carefully and leave products in their original containers with labels intact
Program the Poison Help line into your phone: 1-800-222-1222. Poison centers are available 24/7 year-round, for poison emergencies or for poison information. All calls free and confidential.
Remember, a poison center is an excellent resource in a poison emergency but poison prevention is best! Take time to anticipate your child’s actions and prevent poisonings before they happen.