Child Safety Tips

Kids are fast

Young children are fast and get into everything which is why they are at higher risk for unintentional poisoning! Click here to read a real story about a poison exposure that happened in a young child, as told by his parents.

You can also watch/download Billy Won’t Share, a short clip which highlights how quickly pediatric poisonings can happen.

Top reasons why children are exposed to poisonous substances

Poison exposures among young children often result in mild or no symptoms, but there is potential for severe injury or even death. Most often, children are poisoned in their own homes. The top reasons why children accidentally poison themselves are listed here:

  • Poisons are not stored properly. To prevent a small child from getting into something he or she shouldn’t, keep harmful products up high and out of sight (preferably locked up). Also, remember that “child-resistant” caps are NOT “child-proof”!
  • Children are naturally curious about the taste, smell, and texture of products which is why they may put non-food items in their mouths (especially if they are brightly colored). Again, you should keep these products up and away from kids.
  • Children think a poison is something other than a poison. Children can mistake “look-alike” items such as fuels, cough syrup, medicine, and shampoo to be food, drinks, or candy. You should teach your children to ask first before tasting, eating, or drinking anything.
  • Children imitate the behavior of adults. Children may copy what their parents or grandparents do, such as taking medication. Try to avoid using these products in front of children and make sure not to call medicine “candy”.

Adults need to decide which of these safety measures can be easily and effectively incorporated at home!


Additional Resources

Preschoolers and poison prevention (PDF)

How to prevent poisoning in children (PDF)