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Rat Poison

Poison control centers receive thousands of calls each year from parents and caregivers of children who have eaten rat poison.

Rat poison comes in the form of pellets or cakes. Because rat poison often smells and tastes like food, it can be attractive to children and pets.

Symptoms of rat poison ingestion

Rat poison can be very dangerous if ingested by children or pets. Most rat poison is made of a product that thins the blood.

Symptoms of poisoning can include:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Blood in the urine
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Bruising
  • Damage to kidneys and other organs
  • Hair loss
  • Nosebleeds
  • Seizures
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weakness

Symptoms may not develop for a couple of days. By that time, serious damage may have already occurred.

Protect your family

Follow these tips to keep your family safe:

  • Consider using traps or hiring a professional exterminator instead of using poison pellets and cakes.
  • Don’t leave pellets or cakes in areas where children or pets can get into them.
  • Always keep poisons in their original containers. Store them out of the reach and sight of children.
  • Follow the instructions on labels.
  • After use, close containers tightly, and put them in a locked cabinet.

Take action if you think someone has been poisoned

If you suspect someone has ingested rat poison, call The University of Kansas Hospital Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222. Do not wait for symptoms to appear.


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

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