Poison Control Center Tips

A poison is anything that can make you sick, hurt you, or even kill you if it gets into your body through your mouth, nose, eyes, or skin.

Poisons found in and around the home include: cleaning products, laundry products, garden and lawn care products, auto fluids and cosmetics. These poisons often come in bright colors and pretty bottles.

Children may mistake poisons for something good to eat or drink. Medicines and vitamins can also be a poison. Both prescription and over-the-counter medicines can be a poison if you take too much or use them the wrong way. Plants can also be poisonous with indoor and outdoor plants becoming harmful, if they are used in the wrong way.

Poison Safety

Here are some safety tips to help keep your family safe from poisons. Use the Home Safety Checklist shown below to help you store the listed poisons safely!

1. Store Poisons Safely

· Store poisons in locked cabinets out of reach and sight of children and pets.

· Keep poisons stored in the bottles they come in. Make sure the bottles are clearly labeled.

· Never store poisons in drink or food bottles.

· Never store poisons in the same area where you store food items.

· Keep medicines and vitamins in bottles with child-safety caps (child resistant packaging). Make sure the lids are closed tightly at all times.

2. Use Poisons Safely

· Before you use a poison, read the label on the bottle.

· While you are using a poison, never leave it out where a child may get to it.

· After you use a poison, put it back in a locked cabinet. Make sure the bottle is closed tightly.

· Never call medicine “candy.” A child may later eat the medicine thinking it is candy.

· Do not take medicine in front of children or give medicine to one child while another is watching. Children may be tempted to take the medicine later, when you are not watching.

3. Know what to do in a poisoning emergency

· Keep the phone number of the Poison Control Center (PCC) on or near your phones. (1-800-222-1222)

· If you think someone has been poisoned, call the PCC right away at 1-800-222-1222.  Never wait for the person to look or feel sick!

Child safety caps are not child proof! Some children can open these caps. This is why it is important to keep medicines and vitamins locked up!

First Aid

In case of a poisoning, follow these First-Aid steps:

For Swallowed Poisons:

· Call the PCC right away.

For Poisons in the Eye:

· Flush the victim’s eye with lukewarm water for about 20 minutes.

· Call the PCC at 800.222.1222

For Inhaled (Breathed In) Poisons:

· Get the victim to fresh air right away. · Call the PCC.

For Poisons on the Skin:

· Take off any clothing that has poison on it.

· Rinse the victim’s skin with water for 20 minutes.

· Call the PCC at 800.222.1222

· Have these things ready when you call:

Your name, phone number, county, and zip code

· The victim’s name, age and weight

· Any symptoms the victim has

· The time the poisoning occurred

· The name of the substance or poison

· The amount of the substance or poison

· Any current health problems the victim has

· Any medicines the victim is taking

Each year, the Poison Control Center provides services to thousands of people. You can call the PCC to get help in a poisoning emergency or to get treatment advice about animal or insect bites. Nurses, pharmacists, and doctors answer the phones 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. They can tell you what to do if you, your child, or your pet is poisoned or was bitten by an animal. In addition, the PCC staff can answer your questions about poisons in and around your home.

All calls to the PCC are free.

Syrup of Ipecac

This product is a plant extract used to make a person throw up. At this time, the PCC does not recommend Syrup of Ipecac.  It should no longer be used in the home as a poison treatment.

For questions or concerns, call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.

Home Safety Checklist

Use this checklist to make sure the poisons listed are stored in locked cabinets, out of the reach and sight of children and pets. Call the Poison Control Center right away if you think someone has been poisoned by any of the poisons listed here.

*The poisons marked with an asterisk (*) can be very dangerous. Be very careful when using and storing these poisons.

Kitchen/Laundry Area

__Air Fresheners



__Bug Killers*

__Cigarettes/Chewing Tobacco*


__Dishwasher Detergent

__Drain Cleaners*

__Fabric Softeners

__Furniture Polishes

__Laundry Detergents



__Metal Cleaners*

__Oven Cleaners*


__Rust Removers*

__Scouring Powders



__Air Fresheners

__After-Shave Lotions



__False Fingernail Removers*

__Hair Removers

__Hair Styling Products

__Lotions, Creams, Oils




__Nail Polish/Removers

__Rubbing Alcohol*


__Shaving Creams


__Toilet Bowl Cleaners*



__Cigarettes/Chewing Tobacco*



__Medicines* __Plants

Living Room

__Cigarettes/Chewing Tobacco*



__Tape or Stereo Cleaners

__VCR/DVD Cleaners



__Bug Killers*



__Flower Bulbs


__Shrubs and Trees

__Weed Killers*

Empowering Through Education to Improve Child Safety