Kids and Poison
» What is a poison?
» What is a Poison Center?
» What Can I Do to Protect Myself and My
» In The Event of a Poisoning
» Emergency Action for Poisoning
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?
- Read and follow directions on the label before using drugs and household
- Store all drugs, poisons and harmful household products out of the
reach of children and in locked cabinets.
- Keep all household products and drugs in their original containers.
Never put chemicals in empty food or drink containers.
- Always ask for medications in child -resistant containers (safety-lock
- Don't take medicine in front of children and never tell children that
medicine is candy.
- Remove poisonous plants from the house and yard.
- Use Mr. Yuk stickers on poisonous products.
- 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
- Keep the Poison Center number near your phones and call immediately
if you suspect a poisoning has occurred.
- Always be aware of your environment. Accidents happen frequently
when people are busy with other things, like holidays, visiting other
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.
Immediately get the person to fresh air. Avoid breathing fumes. Open doors and
win(lows wide. If victim is not breathing, start artificial respiration.
- Medicine: Do not give anything by mouth until calling
- Chemical or Household Products: Unless patient
is unconscious, having convulsions, or cannot swallow-give milk
or water immediately ... then call for professional advice about
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
the Emergency Actions, Call Your Nearest Poison Center.
To reach the poison center for your area of the country, call
the nationwide hotline number below and you will automatically
be connected to the center nearest you.
Nationwide Poison Center Hotline
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