Poison Prevention

Many children are poisoned each year by ingesting toxic substances at home. The key is to prevent accidental poison ingestions before they happen. There are hundreds of potentially poisonous products in the average home. Here are some tips on how to prevent accidental poisoning:

  • Keep in mind that “child resistant” packaging are not necessarily fully child proof as some children can figure out how to open them
  • Always keep medications, household cleaning products , cosmetics and other potentially toxic substances in locked cabinets
  • Keep purses and wallets in a safe place out of the reach of children
  • Always read the labels on all medication and household product containers
  • Keep all the products in their original containers to be able to identify them in case of accidental ingestion
  • In order to avoid temptation, keep all medications and other potentially toxic substances far out of the sight(and reach) of children
  • Clean out your medicine cabinet regularly and Throw away or discard any expired, unnecessary or unused medication
  • Never tell children that medicine tastes like candy and avoid taking medication in front of children as they tend to imitate adults
  • When working with toxic or potentially dangerous chemical, avoid all distractions. If you must interrupt your work (say to answer the phone or door) , make sure that the containers are closed properly and the area you are working in cannot be accessed by young children
  • Many car owners give their car a tune up including changing anti-freeze, oil etc at home. Be sure that these highly toxic products are always out of the reach of your children.
  • Be prepared in case of accidental poison ingestion by:
  • Knowing the local emergency room or poison control center phone number so that you can contact them for advice
  • Keeping syrup of Ipecac(which induces vomiting) on hand. Remember however that for some poisons, making a child to vomit is dangerous, so follow your poison Control Centre or emergency room’s instructions. Do not induce vomiting unless you are instructed to do so
  • Taking the container of the ingested product or medication with you to the emergency room


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Pediatrician DR.PAUL Roumeliotis is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. The information provided above is designed to be an educational aid only. It is not intended to replace the advice and care of your child’s physician, nor is it intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. If you suspect that your child has a medical condition always consult a physician.