Did you know that:

  • Over 50% of all poisonings occur in children less than 5 years old.
  • Most poisonings in children happen just before lunch and before dinner when children are hungry and are supervised less.
  • Many poisonings occur while the products are being used not while they are stored.
  • The most common “poisons” in children are: Cough / Cold medicines, vitamins, fluoride, antibiotics, cleaners and plants.
  • Product labels may have first aid instructions that are incorrect (or outdated)
  • “Child-proof” caps are not child-PROOF, they are only child-RESISTANT.
  • You have a Poison Control Center to help you when a poisoning occurs.

Home Poison Safety – Make sure that:

  • All household products are stored out of reach of children and pets.
  • All household products and medicines are kept in original containers and not stored in food or beverage containers.
  • Food, medicines and household products are each stored separately.
  • All medicines are locked up.
  • No medicines are left on counter tops, window sills, vanities, dressers or bedside tables.
  • No cleaning supplies are kept under sink in kitchen or bathroom.
  • Never refer to medicine as candy.
  • Always read and follow label directions before using.
  • All old, unused, unlabeled medicines are discarded properly.
  • All containers are rinsed out thoroughly before discarding safely.
  • Poison-Proof your Home checklist

To give you a start in poison proofing your home, here is a list of SOME common potentially toxic substances. Go through each room. Make sure these are properly stored out of reach of small children and pets.


  • Ammonia
  • Ant/Roach/Bug Killers
  • Automatic Dishwasher Detergent
  • Bleach
  • Carpet/Upholstery Cleaners
  • Cleansers
  • Disinfectants
  • Drain Cleaners
  • Fabric Softeners (liquid and sheet)
  • Furniture Polish
  • Medications – Prescription and non-prescription
  • Metal Cleaners
  • Oven Cleaners
  • Rust removers
  • Soaps/Detergents
  • Vitamins / Fluoride / Iron Pills


  • Cosmetics
  • House plants
  • Jewelry cleaners
  • Medications – prescriptions / non-prescription
  • Nail polish / remover
  • Perfumes / colognes
  • Shoe cleaners / polishes
  • Family Room
  • House plants
  • Stereo / video cleaners


  • Aftershave lotion
  • Baby powder
  • Bath oil
  • Cleansers
  • Cosmetics
  • Deodorizers / sanitizers
  • Drain Cleaners
  • Hair removers
  • Medications – prescription and non-prescription
  • Mouthwash
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Shampoo / hair products
  • Toilet bowl cleaners

Garage / Basement / Storage

  • Antifreeze
  • Fertilizers
  • Gasoline / Kerosene / Barbecue starter
  • Glues
  • Lighter Fluid
  • Lime
  • Lye
  • Mothballs / Moth Flakes
  • Paint / paint remover / thinner
  • Pesticides / insecticides
  • Rat / mouse poisons
  • Turpentine
  • Weed killers
  • Windshield Cleaners


  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Batteries
  • Disc (calculator)
  • Cigarettes

Poison Prevention

  • Use products with child resistant caps
  • Never call medicine candy
  • Store all drugs and chemicals in their original containers and out of reach of children, preferably in a locked cabinet
  • Never put chemicals in food containers
  • Do not take medications in front of children, they may imitate you.
  • Read and follow label directions on all products before using them.
  • Be aware that some product labels have outdated first aid advice. Call Poison Control Center for current information
  • Make sure that all old, unused and unlabeled medicines are discarded properly. All containers should be rinsed out thoroughly before discarding safely.
  • Keep phone number for the Poison Control Center attached to your telephone.
  • Make sure babysitters, friends and relatives are aware of the Poison Control Center number.
  • Purchase ipecac syrup from local drug store and keep on hand at all times. Use only after advice from the Poison Control Center or your physician.
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