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Poison Prevention and Young Children

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Banner Good Samaritan Poison and Drug Information Center
24-hour phone: 1-800-222-1222 Call to be sure.

As the caregivers for young children, we should keep our homes safe from the dangers of things that can be poisonous. Post the Poison Control number on your refrigerator, near the phone and program the number into your cell phone in case of emergency.

     General tips

    • Poison proof your home ahead of your child's development.
    • Always know where and what your child is doing.
    • Some products are not poisonous unless used in the wrong way.
    • Remind visitors, grand parents, family and friends to be poison smart.
    • Purses are one of the best places for toddlers to find poisons.
    • Children around the age of 17 months are the most likely to get into poisons.

     Personal Care Products

    • Keep all personal care products up and out of sight.
    • Be aware if small children watch you use a product. For example, they may see you put mouthwash into your mouth but don't see you spit it out.
    • Keep all products in their original bottles with label intact.
    • Read the labels and follow directions exactly.
    • Be extra careful when using mouthwash, eyedrops and nail polish remover.


    • All medication should be stored out of reach and even locked up to make sure that a child cannot get to them.
    • Have the drug store fill your prescriptions in child resistant bottles. Remember that they are not "child proof." Children may still be able to open them.
    • Read labels and follow instructions carefully.
    • If someone who is taking medications comes to visit remind them not to leave medication out on the table or nightstand like they may do at home.
    • Have women visiting place their handbags up high to prevent young children from reaching them.
    • Over-the-counter medications (Tylenol, cold and sinus medications) should be handled like doctor-prescribed medication. Over-the-counter does not make it safe for young children.
    • Parents should stress that only an adult can give medication. Do not call medicine "candy." 
    • Don't take medications in front of young children. They like to copy what you do.
    • Give medication only to the child who has their name on the bottle. Do not give the medication to all of the brothers and sisters just in case they might get sick.
    • Measure all medication carefully, do not use a regular teaspoon. Follow the directions on the label.

     Bites and Stings

    • Check your home to see if you have scorpions. (Can be done with a black light during the night.)
    • If you have scorpions you will need to start a search and destroy mission. 
    • Check the child's room and bedding for scorpions.
    • Keeping the bed away from the wall, making sure that the covers don't reach the floor, putting the legs of the crib in glass/plastic jars can help but does not replace your being on constant guard.
    • A lightweight piece of cardboard or foam core board a size larger than the crib and hung several inches from the ceiling may be helpful to serve as a scorpion shield to prevent scorpions from dropping into the child's crib.
    • If you live in one of the newly developed areas you should be aware of danger of rattlesnakes.
    • During the spring and fall check your yard before letting children out to play.
    • If you find a snake, leave it alone. Stay away from it.
    • Learn to recognize the messy white webs of the Black Widow spider. Even if the spider is not in the web she is close by so keep children away from the webs.

     Household Products

    • Keep household products up and out of sight.
    • Do not mix different products together.
    • Read instructions on how to use products.
    • If you are cleaning and are called away either take the child or the cleaning product with you.
    • Do not store food and cleaning products together.
    • Look for words like Danger, Poison, Caution, Warning and Keep Out of Reach of Children. 
    • Buy household products that have a child resistant cap.
    • Be very careful when using drain and oven cleaner, glue,powered dishwasher detergent and bug spray.
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    Poison and Drug Information Center
    24-hour phone: 1-800-222-1222
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