Poison Safety

Home Safety

More than 90% of poison exposures happen in the home. Knowing how to protect your children from poison-related accidents is imperative and can save their lives  

Step 1: Make a Plan

  • Be prepared for a poison emergency by having a plan ready and in place BEFORE something happens

  • Save the Poison Control number onto your phone and display it visibly somewhere in your house

    • 1-800-222-1222; or text POISON to 797979

    • All calls are free, confidential and professionals are available 24/7 all year long​

Step 2: Practice Safe Storage Habits

  • The following items should be stored up, away, and out of sight of children, and in their original containers.

  • Keep these substances in cabinets secured with child-resistant locks.  Keep in mind that there is no such thing as a 100-percent child-proof lock or container.

  • These items are:

    • All medicines and pharmaceuticals, including over-the-counter medicines, prescription medicines, vitamins, and supplements

    • Tobacco and e-cigarette products, especially liquid nicotine

    • Alcohol

    • Laundry and cleaning supplies

    • Pesticides and insect repellents

    • Button batteries, such as those found in musical greeting cards, key fobs, etc.

    • Any type of oil or lubricant, including fragrance oils, tiki torch oils, engine oil, etc.

    • Personal care products, especially contact lens disinfectants and hand sanitizers

    • Other chemicals

Step 3: Read and Follow Labels and Directions

  • Make a habit of reviewing the label on any potentially hazardous substance or product prior to use, especially before administering medicines.

  • Take care to follow usage directions, as well as instructions for safe storage and disposal.

  • Call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222 if you have any questions about the directions

Step 4: Detect Invisible Threats

  • To protect your family, install carbon monoxide detectors in your home.

  • Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas that can lead to severe illness and even death.

  • Most carbon monoxide exposures occur during the winter months or during power outages.

Food Poisoning Safety

Step 1: Prepare Food Safely to Avoid Food Poisoning

  • Food poisoning, also called foodborne illness, is illness caused by ingesting contaminated food.

  • The most common causes of food poisoning are infectious organisms such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, or their toxins.

    • These infectious organisms, or their toxins can contaminate food at any point of processing or production.

    • Contamination can also occur at home, if food is incorrectly handled or cooked.

  • The CDC estimates that each year roughly 1 in 6 Americans (or 48 million people) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases. 

  • The most common symptoms of food poisoning include:

    • upset stomach

    • abdominal cramps

    • nausea and vomiting

    • diarrhea

    • fever

    • dehydration

  • Symptoms may range from mild to severe, and may differ depending on the causative agent. Severe cases of food poisoning can cause long-term health problems or death.

  • If you have any questions about safe food preparation, or if you or someone you know suspects food poisoning, call the Poison Help hotline at 1-800-222-1222

Step 2: Food Safety Tips for Preparing Meals

    • PREPARE:  

      • Keep raw meats, eggs, and poultry separate from other foods in grocery bags, on the counter, and during preparation.

    • COOK: 

      • Use a food thermometer to check if meat is fully cooked and reached the internal temperature required to kill harmful bacteria. Once cooked, keep hot food hot and cold food cold.

    • STORE: 

      • Refrigerate leftovers within two hours to reduce the risk of bacterial growth. Consume or freeze within 3-4 days.

Step 3: Reminders for Mushroom Foraging

  • Poisonous mushrooms often resemble mushrooms that are safe to eat

  • Cooking mushrooms will not remove or inactivate toxins

  • Do not ingest any wild mushrooms unless you are 100% sure that they are safe to eat

Remember if you have any questions about safe food preparation or if you or someone you know suspects food poisoning, call the Poison Help hotline at 1-800-222-1222 to speak to an expert at your local poison control center. You can also get help via the online tool: PoisonHelp.org

​If you believe your child has ingested any poison or are unsure about if they have taken anything, call the Poison Control Hotline immediately! It never hurts to be safe! 1-800-222-1222 For more information, explore the American Association of Poison Control’s website by clicking here -> https://aapcc.org/