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How to Keep Kids Safe from Poisoning

Many household products are useful when it comes to cleaning the house, but can be dangerous if in reach of a child. Here are some tips on how to keep your children safe from potentially poisonous items you may have at home.

Child trying to get into a child lock_poison safety

Poison is a real danger for American kids. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 300 children go to an emergency department each day due to poisoning. And every day, two kids die. It's heartbreaking, but there are ways you can help keep your child safe from potentially poisonous products.

Store it up, up and away

Keep medicines and household products out of sight and out of reach. Under-sink cabinets might feel out of the way, but that's eye level for young children. Move bleach, detergents, and dishwashing liquids to a new spot. Install child safety locks on cabinets where you keep poisonous items.

Related: Convenient, Maybe. But Consumer Reports Says Laundry Detergent Pods too Dangerous to Recommend

Use it carefully

When you're giving or taking medication or using household products, think through your routine. Don't put the next dose on the counter where a child could reach it. Secure child safety caps completely. Put medications and household products away as soon as you're done with them.

Think outside the cabinet

Medications and cleaning supplies aren't the only dangerous items in a home. Keep these potential poisons safely out of a little ones' reach: 

  • Tobacco and e-cigarettes, especially liquid nicotine
  • Alcohol
  • Pesticides and insect repellents
  • Button batteries, like those found in musical greeting cards or key fobs
  • Oils and lubricants, including fragrance oils, Tiki torch oil and engine oil
  • Personal care products, especially contact lens solution and hand sanitizers

Related: 8 Ways to Prepare Your Babysitter for Anything

Know the number

Don't hesitate to call Poison Control at 800-222-1222 if you have questions or suspect your child may have ingested something dangerous. Put this number into your cell phone and post it near any home phones. The line is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and offers help in both English and Spanish. If a child has collapsed or is not breathing, call 911.

Kids can get into trouble when adults turn away for just a moment. But the right precautions can help keep your family safe.



SelectHealth may link to other websites for your convenience. SelectHealth does not expressly or implicitly recommend or endorse the views, opinions, specific services, or products referenced at other websites linked to the SelectHealth site, unless explicitly stated.

The content presented here is for your information only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, and it should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns.


References: American Association of Poison Control Centers; Safe Kids Worldwide

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