Poison Prevention

In 2008, 94 children ages 14 years and younger died from unintentional poisoning.

Of the approximately 2.5 million poison exposure cases reported to the Poison Control Centers in 2009, children less than 3 years of age were involved in almost 40 percent; more than half of calls involved children ages 5 and younger.

  • Household products and medications

    Here are some tips to help keep your children safe from accidental poisoning:

    • Never leave poisonous products, such as cleaning products, unattended while in use. Many incidents happen when adults are distracted for a moment on the phone or at the door.
    • Be aware of poisons, such as medication or hand sanitizers, that may be in your handbag. Store handbags out of the reach of young children.
    • Buy child-resistant packages when available.
    • Install child safety locks on cabinets where you have stored poisonous items, like cleaning products, personal care items and medicine.
    • Read labels to find out what is poisonous.
    • Do not mix cleaning products.
    • Keep products in their original packages to avoid confusion.
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning

    Install and maintain carbon monoxide alarms in a central location, outside sleeping areas and on every level of the home.

  • Lead poisoning

    Test homes built before 1978 for lead-based paint. If lead hazards are identified, have your child tested for lead exposure and hire a professional to control and remove lead sources safely.

    Make sure your child does not have access to peeling paint or chewable surfaces painted with lead-based paint.

  • Purchasing safety products

    The Safety Center is a convenient place for local families to buy child safety products at low prices and to get free injury prevention information. Some of the products we carry to help protect your child from accidental poisoning include:

    • Push n’ Snap cabinet locks
    • Cabinet slide lock
    • Cabinet & drawer latches
    • Carbon monoxide (CO) alarms

    Visit the Safety Center at CHOP for more safety products.

Reviewed by The Poison Control Center on October 01, 2013