Poison Prevention Tips

24-Hour Poison Control Center Hotline

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Keep the Poison Control Center’s number in a prominent place in your home. We're available 24/7. Call toll free, 1-800-222-1222.

Common Poisons

Learn more about specific types of common poisons that may be found around your home or anywhere.

Store Safely

  • Lock poisonous products and medicines out of children’s reach and sight.
  • Store products in their original, labeled containers.
  • Keep medicines, vitamins and household products in containers with child-resistant caps.
  • Never carry something that can be poisonous, such as medicine, in a purse where children may find it.
  • Put safety latches on drawers and cabinets.

Use Safely

  • Carefully read container labels before use.
  • Never leave poison or medicine unattended where a child may find it.
  • After use, close a container tightly, and put it in a locked cabinet.
  • Never call medicine “candy.” Children may think it’s candy and eat it.
  • Do not take your medication in front of children.
  • Do not give a child medication while another child is watching.
  • Avoid using pest control products that leave powder or pellets in areas where children or pets can get into them.
  • Keep children and pets out of the area when using insecticides and other garden chemicals.

Eat Safely

  • Place frozen foods in the freezer and refrigerated foods in the refrigerator as soon after shopping as possible.
  • Set your refrigerator to 40ºF, the freezer to 0ºF. If you don’t have a thermometer, keep your refrigerator as cold as possible without freezing your milk or lettuce.
  • Thaw foods in the refrigerator, not on the counter.
  • Don’t buy canned goods that are bulging, dented or rusted.
  • Refrigerate food within two hours of cooking.
  • On picnics, keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold.
  • Wash hands in hot, soapy water before, and frequently during, food preparation.
  • Wash all fruits and vegetables before eating.
  • Wash cutting boards and utensils in hot, soapy water or a 10-percent bleach solution after use.
  • Thoroughly cook all meats, poultry and seafood.
  • Don’t eat raw or partially cooked eggs or shellfish.
  • Cook foods as close to serving time as possible.
  • Never eat a mushroom unless it has been positively identified and verified as edible. Only an expert can tell a safe mushroom from a poisonous mushroom.

General Household Safety

  • Install carbon monoxide and smoke detectors on each level of your house.
  • Remove poisonous plants from your home.
  • Keep space heaters at least three feet away from beds, curtains or other materials that can catch on fire.
  • Check your house for peeling paint.
  • Have all fuel-burning appliances and vehicles regularly inspected and maintained.
  • Never leave your car running in an attached garage.
  • Keep appliance exhaust vents free of debris.
  • Do not use a gas oven to heat your house.
  • Do not use a charcoal or portable gas grill inside the house or attached garage.
  • Do not sleep in any room with an unvented gas or kerosene space heater.