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poison helpChildren are naturally curious. They are bound to explore and wander around the house as they play and learn. It is important to know that sometimes children can become exposed to dangers in the home without being aware of what they are doing. Each year, nearly 1 million children under the age of five are exposed to potentially poisonous medicines and household chemicals. Products and medicines can hurt you and your children if they are used the wrong way, in the wrong amount, or by the wrong person. To prevent a poisoning, check your home for hazards.

IN THE BATHROOM: Medicines, Perfumes, Beauty Products, Nail Products, Cleaning Products, Mouthwash

IN THE BEDROOM: Medicines, Plants, Cigarettes, Mothballs

IN THE GARAGE: Pesticides, Rust Remover, Gasoline, Kerosene, Paint Thinner, Lighter Fluid, Lamp Oil, Antifreeze, Windshield Washer Fluid

IN THE KITCHEN: Cleaners, Alcohol, Detergents, Furniture Polish, Bleach, Ammonia, Disinfectants, Old food, Gas (from stove)

Store Poisons Safely
• Store medicines and household products in locked cabinets, where children cannot reach them.
• Buy products in child-resistant packaging, when available.
• Make sure caps are closed tightly.
• Store all medical and household products in their original containers.
• Put safety latches on drawers and cabinets containing harmful household products.
• Do not leave children alone with household products or medications.
• Return household products to safe storage right after use.
• Store food and cleaners separately.

Use Poisons Safely
• Read the label carefully. Follow the directions on medicines and products and use as directed.
• Never refer to medicine as candy.
• Be sure to put on your glasses and turn on the lights to read labels.

Prevention Tips
• Place carbon monoxide detectors in your home.
• Keep children away from any poisonous plants that may be in or around your home.
• Watch children carefully when playing indoors and outdoors.
• Poisons can look like food or drink. Teach children to ask an adult before eating or drinking anything.
• Post the poison help line phone number (1-800-222-1222) near all telephones in the home or store it in your cell phone.

For more information about poison prevention, visit the Regional Center for Poison Control for Massachusetts and Rhode Island at www.maripoisoncenter.org

Written By:


Immunization Coordinator

Immunization Coordinator in the Bureau of Family Health and Nutrition

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