Poison Prevention Week


National Poison Prevention Week is being celebrated on March 20-26. The week is nationally designated to high-light the dangers of poisonings and how to prevent them. Every year in the US, more than one million children under the age of 5 are exposed to poisons. These poisons include medicines and other chemicals used inside and outside the home.

è Here’s what you can do to prevent poisonings:

  • The best way to protect your children from poisons is to do a walk-through of your home and yard to find all potential poisons. Be sure to check the bathroom, kitchen, garage, laundry room, nightstand drawers, medication storage areas, pool and outdoor play areas.
  • All medicines, including children’s vitamins, should be treated as a potential poison.
  • Read the labels of household products you use. Look for the words: Caution, Warning, Poison, Danger, or Keep Out of Reach of Children. Gather all potentially poisonous items and make sure they have child safety caps in place.
  • Store all potential poisons on a high shelf or cabinet where children cannot reach them and secure the cabinets with child safety locks.
  • See the Poison Control feature, Mark the bottle! for tips on how to make sure you can tell how much liquid medicine your child has taken in the event of a poisoning.


Mark the bottle! You catch your toddler drinking from his older brother’s bottle of liquid medicine. You call the National Poison Control Hotline (1-800-222-1222). But when they ask you how much your child took, you realize that you don’t really know.


Even parents who know the basic rules of poison control, such as keeping medicines out of children’s reach and posting the poison control number next to the phone, may not know how much liquid medicine a child has taken. Here’s a simple solution: Mark the level of liquid medicines after each use by drawing a line on the label. Then, if a child drinks the contents, you’ll know how much is missing. This information will help determine if your child needs emergency care.


Also, never tell your child the liquid medicine is a special drink or juice. Most medicines are made to taste good so children will take them. However, even if the medicine tastes bad, don’t let your guard down. Children have been known to drink a whole bottle of medicine that tastes just awful!

Created on January 1, 2011

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