What Kids Need to Know About Poisoning

24-Hour Poison Control Center Hotline

Toll free 1-800-222-1222

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 grownups 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 a grownup first.
  • Never take medicine unless a grownup gives it to you.
  • Some plants and berries are poisonous. Don’t put them in your mouth unless a grownup says it is all right.
  • Always let grownups 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.