Kids Do Matter NEMA special program

Kids and Poison

What is a poison?
What is a Poison Center?
What Can I Do To Protect Myself and My Family?
In The Event of a Poisoning
Emergency Action For Poisoning

cause of poisoning
"...that a big cause
of accidental home
chemical poisoning
is adult misuse?
Simply following
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What is a poison?

A poison is anything that could make you sick if you eat, drink, smell, or touch it. Poisons come in all shapes, sizes, and forms. Many common household products can be poisonous. Your house could be a dangerous place. Medicines, cosmetics, car products, cleaning supplies, arts and crafts materials, food that is improperly prepared or stored, and plants are just a few household products that can cause poisonings. Bites and stings from snakes, spiders, ticks, and jellyfish can also be poisonous. Each year 2 million Americans are poisoned. These poisonings can be prevented through education and awareness.

Many poisonings occur in children under the age of six. Children are curious. They see adults using certain products and may want to do the same. They may think some poisons are good things to eat, drink, or play with. Adults can be poisoned too. Adults sometimes take the wrong doses of medication, confuse different medications, or may splash a poison on their skin or in their eyes accidentally.

What is a Poison Center?

A Poison Center is your best resource for information about poison prevention and what to do in the event of a poisoning emergency. Poison Centers are located in states throughout the country. Many poisonings can be treated at home with guidance from a Poison Center. The Poison Center offers you the most up-to-date information and quickest assistance in dealing with a poisoning. Poison center staff also visit community groups to teach them about poison prevention.

What Can I Do to Protect Myself and My Family?

  1. Read and follow directions on the label before using drugs and household products.
  2. Store. all drugs, poisons and harmful household products out of the reach of children and in locked cabinets.
  3. Keep all household products and drugs in their original containers. Never put chemicals in empty food or drink containers.
  4. Always ask for medications in chi Id -resistant containers (safety-lock tops).
  5. Don't take medicine in front of children and never tell children that medicine is candy.
  6. Remove poisonous plants from the house and yard.
  7. Use Mr. Yuk stickers on poisonous products.
  8. Keep one bottle of Syrup of Ipecac per child in your home. Ipecac induces vomiting. Do not give this medication unless instructed to do so by the Poison Center.
  9. Keep the Poison Center number near your phones and call immediately if you suspect a poisoning has occurred.
  10. Always be aware of your environment. Accidents happenfrequently when people are busy with other things, like holidays, visiting other people's homes, getting ready to move, or simply leaving a dangerous product in easy reach while answering the door or the phone. Don't take a chance.

In The Event of a Poisoning

Call the nearest Poison Center.

Save any remains of the poison.

When you call the Poison Center you will be asked some questions such as who was involved, what type of product was "Involved, when it was taken, what the person is doing now, and the weight and age of the person. The Poison Center will tell you step by step what you should do.

Emergency Action for Poisoning

Poison on the Skin

Remove contaminated clothing and flood skin with water for 10 minutes. Then wash gently with soap and water and rinse.

Poison in the Eye

Flood the eye with lukewarm (not hot) water poured from a large glass 2 or 3 inches from the eye. Repeat for 15 minutes. Have patient blink as much as possible while flooding the eye. Do not force the eyelid open.

Inhaled Poison

Immediately get the person to fresh air. Avoid breathing fumes. Open doors and win(lows wide. If victim is not breathing, start artificial respiration.

Swallowed Poison

Medicine: Do not give anything by mouth until calling for advice.

Chemical or Household Products: Unless patient is unconscious, having convulsions, or cannot swallow-give milk or water immediately ... then call for professional advice about whether you should make the patient vomit or not.

Always Keep on Hand at Home: A one ounce bottle of SYRUP OF IPECAC for each child or grandchild in the home. Use only on advice of poison control center, emergency department or physicians.

After the Emergency Actions, Call Your Nearest Poison Center.

This information has been provided courtesy of the Maryland Poison Center of the University of Maryland, School of Pharmacy. For more information, including links to Poison Centers throughout the nation, visit their website:

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