Each year, more than 1 million calls are made to poison control centers in the United States. Some of these calls result in death.
Below are lists of things to do to prevent poisoning in your home, information on common household items that may cause poisoning, and what to do in case of a poison emergency.
For more information about making your home safe for children and developmentally disabled adults, visit our section on safety-proofing.
Only purchase medicines and over-the-counter products (such as cold medicines and vitamins) that have child resistant tops. Be sure to close the containers properly after using.
Keep all medicines, cleaners, and other potentially poisonous products in their original containers. Leave the original labels on all products, and read the label before using.
Make sure you are taking the correct medicine and the correct dosage every time. Avoid taking medicine in front of children, and if you do, be sure you call it "medicine" and not "candy" or "feel-better pills" or any name that make a child want to take it.
Throw away any unneeded or out-of-date medicines - these can go bad if they have expired. Be sure that you get rid of them properly (so that a child or adult won't stumble across them.)