Kids' Corner

A poison is something that makes you sick or hurts you if you eat, drink, touch or smell it. If your mom, dad or another adult tells you that something is dangerous, be sure to stay away from it. Ask your parents if the poisons in your house are locked up.

What kids need to know

Poison comes in different forms

A poison is something that makes you sick or hurts you if you eat, drink, touch or smell it. Poisons come in several forms:

  • Gases

Poisonous gases are invisible. You can’t see, smell or feel them. They can be found in almost any place where something is burning. An invisible poison could be mixed in with smoke or come out of the back of a car or bus when the engine is running.

  • Liquids

Liquid poisons can be creamy, gummy or watery. They can be any color. Some liquid poisons are floor cleaners, antifreeze for the car, cough syrup (if you take too much) and lamp oil.

  • Solids

Examples of solid poisons are pills, batteries, plants and berries.

  • Sprays

Spray poisons can come in a spray can or bottle. The spray can get in your eyes or mouth, and in your lungs if you breathe it in. Examples are furniture polish or bug spray.

What poison looks like

A poison can come in pretty colors. It can come in many shapes and sizes. A poison can smell good. It can also taste good. A poison can even look like something that is good to eat or drink.

Where poisons are found

Poisons are everywhere. They can be found in your garage, kitchen, bathroom or any room in your house. They can even be found in your mother’s or grandmother’s purse. Poisons also can be found outside, like some plants, berries and mushrooms.

What to do if someone gets poisoned

If you think you got into a poison, tell your parents or a grownup right away! They will call The University of Kansas Poison Control Center. The Poison Control Center will tell them how to help you.

If you think your mom, dad, brother, sister, cousin or friend got into a poison, you can call the Poison Control Center. The phone number is 1-800-222-1222.

Tell your parents or an adult to make sure to put the number of the Poison Control Center on or near all the telephones in your house.

You can also call 911.

Tips for staying safe

  • If you don’t know what something is, do not touch it or put it in your mouth. Always ask an adult first.
  • Never take medicine unless an adult gives it to you.
  • Some plants and berries are poisonous. Don’t put them in your mouth unless an adult says it is okay.
  • Always let adults use spray cans and bottles. You should not touch them or play with them.
  • Stay away from things used to clean your family’s house, clothing or car.

Game and activities

Learn more about poisons through these fun games and activities:

  • Food safety

You can print coloring books, games and information from:

  • House tour

See if you can identify the poisons in these houses:

See how much you know about poisons.

Pets and poisons

Pets can be poisoned by common household products, plants and foods. Learn more about dangers to your pet.

Information for families

Families can take action to keep children safe. Find out more about what your family can do.

24-hour Poison Control Center hotline: 1-800-222-1222

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