According to the CDC more than 60,000 young children are seen in emergency departments each year because they got into medicines while their parents or caregivers were not looking. In most cases a parent or caregiver will not know what to do.

This is how you handle this situation:

  1. Remain calm. We know it’d easy for us to tell you that but you have to remain calm.
  2. Call 911 if you have a poison emergency and the victim has collapsed or is not breathing. If the victim is awake and alert, The first and best place to call is the American Association of Poison Control Centers ( Poison Help Line at 1-800-222-1222. Try to have this information ready:
  • the victim’s age and weight
  • the container or bottle of the poison if it is at all available
  • the time of the poison exposure
  • the address where the poisoning occurred
  1. Stay on the phone and follow the instructions from the emergency operator or poison control center.

Understand that when you call AAPCC you get directed to one of the nation’s 57 poison centers where a competent medical professional will give you medical advice. The centers are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and the service is free. 

Click for more information on AAPCC.

How do I prevent this from happening?

  • You need to keep all household products stored out of a child’s sight and reach. Get in the habit of double-checking yourself. Don’t create an opportunity for disaster.
  • You need to keep any and all poisonous items are out of reach. Even if your child is not big enough to reach your cabinets use safety locks to secure those cabinets. Assume that detergent pods for the laundry and dishwasher are potentially poisonous items and treat them as if they are poisonous items.
  • Make sure you get into the habit of reading product labels to learn what can be hazardous to kids. Dangerous household items include makeup, personal care products, plants, pesticides, lead, art supplies, alcohol and carbon monoxide.
  • You need to keep all medications, including vitamins and adult medicines stored out of reach and out of sight or children. Again, if a child can reach your cabinets use safety locks to secure the cabinets. Even if they can’t today, that day is coming and you need to be prepared.

Please make the time to click the “CPSC Video – Prevent a Poisoning” tab at the top of the page. It could be a very valuable 3 minutes and 40 seconds.

The CPSC put together a video titled; “Prevent a Poisoning: Think Outside the Box.” This is a really important video. Click the arrow and start watching, it might help you save a life.


The CPSC has several very educational and useful videos on their YouTube channel. Click to access the CPSC YouTube channel.