Prevent Poisoning

Toddlers move fast, and they can quickly put themselves in danger. Every year, thousands of children swallow or touch something poisonous—all in an instant and before a caregiver can stop them.

 

If you suspect your child has touched or ingested a poisonous substance, do not wait:

  • Call the 24-hour poison emergency hotline: 1-800-222-1222.

  • If your child has collapsed or is not breathing, call 911.

  • Post these numbers on or next to your home telephone and program them into your cell phone.

You can prevent a poisoning tragedy:
  • Check that all medicines in the house have child-resistant caps, that those caps are closed tightly, and that medications are out of reach. The biggest cause of accidental poisoning is from medications.

  • Use childproof locks on the cabinets that contain medicines and cleaning solutions in your home.

  • Keep poisonous plants out of your child’s reach. Know the names of your house and garden plants and, more importantly, whether any are poisonous.

  • Get rid of medicines and cleaning solutions that are old or not in their original containers.

  • Keep all poisonous products stored in a locked container or cabinet, and separate from food.

Be sure that people in homes where your child spends time—your childcare provider or relatives—have taken the same steps at their homes.

Disclaimer: This page is not intended to provide medical advice about your child. Always seek the advice of a physician, qualified healthcare provider or child-development specialist with any questions you have about your child's health, medical condition or development. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you read here.

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