Did you know over 40% of calls received by poison centers involve children under the age of six? A poisoning can happen quickly and often happens in the child's home. Overall, the danger of poisons is higher for children because they are smaller in size and have faster metabolic rates. This means they are not able to handle toxic chemicals as much as adults. Because young children explore using their senses of taste and touch, parents should take extra care to make sure all potential poisons and medicines in the household are out of children’s reach.Small child pouring liquid medication

Top Five Poisons Commonly Ingested by Children:

  • Medications (pill poisoning) 
  • Household cleaners
  • Cosmetics and personal care products
  • Foreign bodies (coins, watch batteries)
  • Poisonous plants
    • Flowers, berries, and mushrooms

How Does It Happen?

Common poisoning situations involve a child who is not supervised closely when a poison is within reach. High-risk times for poisoning are at mealtimes or when visitors enter the home, causing distractions and bringing in potentially hazardous items. Poisonous substances stored in drink bottles are confusing to a child, especially when the product colors are similar (for instance, liquid cleaners look like sports drinks). Use the following household safety tips to ensure your child’s safety.

Tips to Prevent Poisoning

1. Put child-resistant latches on cabinets containing non-food products.

2. Store medications in a locked cabinet, out of children’s reach.

3. Store poisons in cabinets away from food or drinks.

4. Keep products in their original containers, not stored in food or beverage containers.

5. Remove poisonous house and yard plants.

6. Program the poison control number 1-800-222-1222 to be ready in case of emergencies or questions.

7. Use child-resistant packaging for household products whenever possible.

Keep your family’s safety as your top priority! If you have questions regarding poison prevention tips or how to protect your household’s safety, call 1-800-222-1222 today.