Skip to main content UVA Health logo of UVA Health
Healthy Balance

7 Steps to Protect Your Family from These Household Poisons

Two young girls play with makeup unaware of household poisons
Take these precautions with household poisons to make sure your children are not exposed to these dangers.

Over 90% of all poisonings happen at home. In fact, half of all calls made to poison control centers involve young children less than six years old. According to Poison Control, the top leaders in household poisons for children are:

  • Cosmetics and personal care products
  • Prescription drugs and vitamins
  • Cleaning products
  • Lawn care products
  • Batteries

Prevent Possible Poisoning

While these little explorers like to put most everything in their mouth this puts them more at risk. Start protecting your home and family with these 7 steps:

  1. Out of sight, out of mind is a good rule of thumb, therefore, keep cosmetics, perfumes and personal care products out of reach of little ones. Because these colorful, candy-size items attract kids’ attention this can be very dangerous.
  2. Store away all items containing small batteries. About 3,000 children go to the ER each year after swallowing these small batteries. This can lead to permanent internal damage in as little as 2 hours.
  3. Don’t leave purses or bags unattended. Like the other concerns, young children can access potential poisons in your purse. They can easily swallow one of these poisonous items before you notice.
  4. Store prescription and over-the-counter medicine in a locked cabinet. Never call medicine “candy” as it could entice children. You should also lock away vitamins and supplements, household cleaners, detergents, automotive products and pesticides from wandering hands.
  5. It’s a good idea to never store potential poisons in the same place you have food.
  6. Keep products in their original containers with their appropriate label to avoid any confusion or accidents.
  7. Get rid of unused or expired medication. Instead of storing old medicines, you can give it back to the pharmacy or learn the safe way to dispose old medication.

Don’t Wait For the Crisis!

Just like preventing accidental poisoning, make sure you stay healthy and prevent other conditions.

In Case of an Emergency

Practice these helpful tips at home to make sure you protect your family from household poisons. Call the National Poison Control Hotline at 1-800-222-1222 or your local poison control center, if you suspect someone has been exposed to a poisonous substance. If a person is unconscious or is not breathing, call 911 immediately.

Copyright 2019 © Baldwin Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.

Health eCooking® is a registered trademark of Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Cook eKitchen™ is a designated trademark of Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein without the express approval of Baldwin Publishing, Inc. is strictly prohibited.

Reply & View Comments Search Submit

Subscribe for Updates

Get stories & health tips every week