Poison Prevention

Poison Prevention

Poisonings are preventable and treatable poison control skill


Top 5 Causes of Poisoning

  1. Cosmetics or personal products
  2. Household cleaning products
  3. Painkillers
  4. Sedatives, hypnotics and anti-psychotic medicine
  5. Foreign bodies, toys and other objects


  • The goal of the week is to raise awareness of the risk of being poisoned by household items including medicines, pesticides, plants, bites and stings, food poisoning, and fumes.
  • Every 13 seconds, a poison control center receives a phone call reporting exposure to toxic chemicals or substances.  
  • More than two million potential poison exposures are reported every year to American poison control centers.  More than 90% of these poisoning occur in the home, and a majority of these occur with children 5 years of age and younger.  50% of young people are the most likely to be poisoned, with children under age 6 accounting for half of all poison exposures.  They only account for a small percent of the deaths due to poisoning.
  • Poisoning of adults is on the rise in our nation and only stands behind motor vehicle accidents as the leading cause of unintentional injury deaths.  92% of poisoning deaths occur among people over the age of 20.
  • Drug-related poisonings cause nearly 700,000 visits to hospital emergency rooms each year.  Poisonings cause more than 35,000 deaths each year. Over 1000 Americans die from poisoning every year.

Prevention Tips

  1. If you think someone has been poisoned, call 1-800-222-1222 right away. Serious poisonings don’t always have early signs.
  2. Put the number for your poison control center (1-800-222-1222) in your cell phone and near home phones.
  3. Keep medicines and household products in their original containers in a different place than food.
  4. Always read product labels and follow any directions.
  5. Keep household products and medicines locked up. Put them where kids can’t see them or reach them.
  6. Buy products with child-resistant packaging. But remember, nothing is child-proof.
  7. Never call medicine “candy.” Poisons may look like food or drink. Teach children to ask an adult before tasting anything.
  8. Learn about products and drugs that young people use to get “high.” Talk to your teen or pre-teen about these dangers.
  9. Have a working carbon monoxide alarm in your home.    


Call 1-800-222-1222 to reach your local poison control center, anywhere in the United States. The call is free, private, 24/7/365, and expert help is available in more than 150 languages.