How to Prevent Poisonings

A poison is any substance that is hurtful to your body when eaten, inhaled, injected, or absorbed through the skin. Thousands of deaths occur every year from accidental poisoning. Leaking gas, cleaning products, even household plants can lead to an accidental poisoning. Prevention is the first step to avoiding poisoning in your home.


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    Put the poison control number near every telephone and save it on your cell phone.
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    Keep your children safe.
    • Keep all drugs in childproof cabinets or in areas a young child cannot reach.
    • Never leave children unattended around household chemicals or drugs. If you're using chemical products or taking medicine, and you have to go do something else, take the children with you.
    • Children mimic adults - avoid taking medication in front of them.
    • Never call medicine candy.
    • Never leave household products laying about after use. Return the products to a childproof cabinet when you are finished using them.
    • Identify poisonous plants in your home and yard and either place them out of reach of children or remove them.
    • Be on the lookout for drugs that guests may bring into your house. Do not let guests leave drugs in areas where children may find them (i.e., pillbox, purse, jacket pocket).
    • Never leave your next dose of medication where a child can reach it.
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    Take proper precautions when working with household chemicals. Follow these simple steps:
    • Read the label carefully before using a product that may be poisonous.
    • Keep all chemical products in the bottles or containers they were purchased in. Never use food containers to store cleaning solutions or beauty products.
    • Do not mix household products together. Some chemicals combined can create a toxic gas, such as bleach and ammonia.
    • Always wear protective clothing when spraying pesticides or other chemicals.
    • Turn on a fan and open the windows when using household cleaners.
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    Use drugs and medications safely to avoid accidental overdose or poisoning:
    • Follow the directions on the label. Read all warning labels.
    • Keep pain medications, such as methadone, hydrocodone, and oxycodone, in a secure place accessible only to people who take or give them.
    • Never take medication in the dark. Turn on a light to insure you have the right amount of the prescribed medicine.
    • Properly dispose of unused, unneeded, or expired prescription drugs.
    • Keep all medicines in their original bottles or containers.
    • Closely monitor the use of prescribed medications for children and teenagers.
    • Never share or sell your prescription drugs to anyone.


  • In the event of a poisoning, call for emergency assistance immediately if the victim is unconscious or is not breathing. If the victim is conscious and perceptive, call the poison control center. Have the answers to who, what, when, and where.
  • Always call for emergency help no matter what form of poisoning has taken place.


  • Do not attempt to induce vomiting if someone has ingested a poison unless you have been advised to do so by the proper authority.
  • Do not attempt to remove pills from an infants mouth as this may force the pills deeper into the throat.

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Categories: Injury and Accidents