January

Poison Prevention

Drugs and Medicines

  • Follow directions on the label when you give or take medicines. Read all warning labels. Some medicines cannot be taken safely when you take other medicines or drink alcohol.
  • Turn on a light when you give or take medicines at night so that you know you have the correct amount of the right medicine.
  • Keep medicines in their original bottles or containers.
  • Never share or sell your prescription drugs.
  • Keep opioid pain medications, such as methadone, hydrocodone, and oxycodone, in a safe place that can only be reached by people who take or give them.
  • Monitor the use of medicines prescribed for children and teenagers, such as medicines for attention deficit disorder, or ADD (SAMHSA 2006).
  • Dispose of unused, unneeded, or expired prescription drugs.  Follow the federal guidelines for how to do this. (ONDCP 2007).

Household Chemicals

  • Always read the label before using a product that may be poisonous.
  • Keep chemical products in their original bottles or containers. Do not use food containers such as cups, bottles, or jars to store chemical products such as cleaning solutions or beauty products.
  • Never mix household products together. For example, mixing bleach and ammonia can result in toxic gases.
  • Wear protective clothing (gloves, long sleeves, long pants, socks, shoes) if you spray pesticides or other chemicals.
  • Turn on the fan and open windows when using chemical products such as household cleaners.

Keep Young Children Safe from Poisoning

  • Put the poison control number, 1-800-222-1222, on or near every home telephone and save it on your cell phone. The line is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Keep all drugs in medicine cabinets or other childproof cabinets that young children cannot reach.
  • Avoid taking medicine in front of children because they often copy adults.
  • Do not call medicine “candy.”
  • Be aware of any legal or illegal drugs that guests may bring into your home. Do not let guests leave drugs where children can find them, for example, in a pillbox, purse, backpack, or coat pocket.
  • When you take medicines yourself, do not put your next dose on the counter or table where children can reach them.
  • Never leave children alone with household products or drugs. If you are using chemical products or taking medicine and you have to do something else, such as answer the phone, take any young children with you.
  • Do not leave household products out after using them. Return the products to a childproof cabinet as soon as you are done with them.
  • Identify poisonous plants in your house and yard and place them out of reach of children or remove them.

What to do if a poisoning occurs

  • Remain calm
  • Call 911 if you have a poison emergency and the victim has collapsed or is not breathing. If the victim is awake and alert, dial 1-800-222-1222. Try to have this information ready:
    • the victim’s age and weight
    • the container or bottle of the poison if available
    • the time of the poison exposure
    • the address where the poisoning occurred
    • Stay on the phone and follow the instructions from the emergency operator or poison control center.

Source: www.cdc.gov