U.S. Department of Health & Human Services


Poison Help 1-800-222-1222 [logo]

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When accidents happen with chemicals, medicine, or household items, call Poison Help. Get help right away from a local poison expert.

If someone is unconscious or has trouble breathing, call 911.

What Can You Do?

Child Tips

Kids – if you are unsure of something that could potentially be dangerous, ask a grown-up.

Where are poisons found?

  • Poisons can be found anywhere – in the house, in the yard, in the playground, or on the sidewalk.

What should you do if you suspect someone is poisoned?

  • Tell a grown-up right away.
  • Call the Poison Help line (1-800-222-1222), which connects you to your local poison center. You will talk to a poison expert who can help you.

Also remember:

  • If you do not know what something is, do not put it in your mouth.
  • Never put plants and berries in your mouth.
  • Never take medicine unless a parent tells you to.
  • Always let grown-ups use spray cans and bottles. Do not touch or play with them.
  • Stay away from things used to clean the house, clothes, or car.

For caregivers

Caregivers should be mindful of safety tips to keep children safe from poisons. Children who are less than 6 years old are the most likely to be poisoned.1 A child’s age, weight, and medical history will affect the treatment of a poisoning.

Keep the following poisonous products away from children:

  • Painkillers such as acetaminophen and similar medications
  • Cosmetics such as perfume or nail polish, and personal care products such as deodorant and soap
  • Cleaning products such as laundry detergent and floor cleaners 

To avoid poisonings when taking care of children, be aware of the following tips:

  • All medicines and household cleaning products should be stored in locked cabinets, out of the reach and sight of children.
  • Keep children where you can see them at all times, even when you go to answer the door or telephone.
  • Never leave young children alone.
  • Do not leave poisons on a counter or in an unlocked cabinet. 
  • Never carry something that can be poisonous, such as a medicine, in a purse where children may find it.
  • Safety latches on drawers or cabinets, and child resistant caps on bottles, are helpful in keeping poisons out of the hands of children.

1. Bronstein AC,  Spyker DA Cantilena LR, Green JL, Rumack BH, Giffin SL. 2008 Annual Report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers’ National Poison Data System (NPDS): 26th Annual Report. 2009. Clinical Toxicology (2009) 47, 911–1084. Exit Disclaimer