If you think a child has been poisoned, call Poison Control toll-free at 800.222.1222

Did you know that more than one million poisonings occur in America each year? In fact, ingestion of harmful substances is one of the most common causes of injury in children less than six years of age. Almost half of the deaths in this age group are due to ingestions of medications -- prescription medications and over-the-counter medications, as well as common household items.

Poisons come in many forms and can be found inside and outside the house. Poisons can look like candy, soda, lotions or other personal care items that children may find appealing. Examples of solid poisons include cosmetics, arts and crafts supplies, batteries, plants and berries. Liquid poisons include cleaning supplies, cough and cold syrups (in excess) and antifreeze. Spray poisons include bug spray, furniture polish or spray oil.

It is important to teach children never to put anything in their mouth without first talking to a grown-up. They should never take medicines unless a grown-up they trust gives it. Plants, household cleaners, all medicines and vitamins, cosmetics, and bug and rodent killers should be locked away and put out of reach.

Problem “look-alike” household items include:

  • Sudafed and red hots (candy)
  • Mothballs and marshmallows
  • Windex and Gatorade/Kool-Aid
  • Bleach bottle and milk carton
  • Antifreeze and Kool-Aid


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