Poison prevention tips

Keep all potentially poisonous products, like household cleaning products and medications, out of sight and reach.

What is a poison?

Any substance that causes illness or harm if someone eats it, drinks it, touches it, or breathes it in.

What are some examples of a poison?

  • Alcohol
  • Carbon Monoxide (CO) gas
  • Medications such as prescription (pain killers, antidepressants), over-the-counter (cough and cold medicines, allergy medicines), and illegal drugs (cocaine, heroin)
  • Food Supplements such as vitamins, minerals, and herbal supplements
  • Cosmetic and Personal Care Products, such as nail polish remover, soap, makeup, hand sanitizer, deodorant, toothpaste, mouthwash, sunscreen, hydrogen peroxide, and cologne
  • Household Cleaning Products, such as bleach, laundry or dish detergent, wall/floor/tile cleaners, disinfectants, antifreeze, and gasoline
  • Pesticides, including rodenticides, insecticides, and herbicides
  • Other household items, such as batteries, cigarettes, toys, and glass
  • Plants, including many household plants, outdoor plants, and wild mushrooms
  • Bites and stings from animals such as snakes, scorpions, wasps, bees, and spiders
  • Environmental chemicals
  • Work-related chemicals

These tips can help prevent a poisoning

Household Poison Prevention Tips


  • Keep all potentially poisonous products, like household cleaning products and medications, out of children’s sight and reach.
  • Put child-resistant locks on drawers and cabinets containing harmful household products.
  • Store all household products and medications in their original containers with their original labels on them. Never put a potentially poisonous product in something other than its original container (like a plastic water bottle) where it could be mistaken for something else.
  • Do not leave children alone with household cleaners or medications. When using a product, take children with you if you leave the room. Many poisonings happen when parents are distracted for a moment on the phone or answering the door.
  • Return all potentially poisonous products to safe storage, out of sight and reach immediately after use.
  • Buy products in child-resistant packaging, when available.
  • Store food and cleaners separately so one is not mistaken for the other.
  • Keep children away from any poisonous plants that may be in or around your home.
  • Watch children carefully when playing indoors and outdoors.
  • Save the number for the MA & RI Poison Center (800) 222-1222.

Medication Safety Prevention Tips


  • Keep all medications out of children’s reach and sight.
  • Read all medication labels carefully and follow the directions listed on the packaging.
  • Never refer to medication as candy.
  • Never share your medication with anyone else.
  • Don’t use more medicine than is prescribed or recommended, even if someone is sick. It will not make them feel better faster and may cause harm.
  • Call the MA & RI Poison Center if you have any questions or concerns about your medication.

Carbon Monoxide Poison Prevention Tips


  • Install a battery-operated or battery back-up Carbon monoxide detector in your home.
  • Keep carbon monoxide alarms at least 15 feet away from fuel-burning appliances.
  • Check to make sure the batteries are working in your alarms every time you switch the clocks for daylight savings.
  • Replace carbon monoxide alarms every 5-7 years (unless they are a newer model with a 10-year sealed battery.)
  • If you are in need of a smoke alarm and Carbon monoxide detector installation request a smoke alarm.

Additional Resources

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