Learning Center

Poison Control Information

Poison safety is the key to keeping your kids and family safe

bottle of poison

What's the best way to prevent poison's harmful effects? Take proper precautions to make sure your family is not accidentally exposed. The following tips from American Family Children's Hospital will help minimize the threat of poison in your home.

Toll free number for poison control

Please note: If you suspect poisoning, don't wait for symptoms to appear. Call the Poison Center at (800) 222-1222 immediately.

Be aware

  • Choose safe products.

  • Buy products with safety caps.

  • Buy only as much product as you need at the time.

  • Read labels, pay attention to warnings and follow directions for proper use and storage.

Take care

The following list can help you prevent accidental poisonings when using medicines:

  • Follow directions. Take only the recommended dose.

  • Use only medicine prescribed for yourself.

  • Turn on a light before taking medicine.

  • Close caps tightly.

  • Keep medicines in their original containers.

  • Put medicines away right after use.

  • Store topical medicines separately from oral/inhaled ones.

  • Throw out old, outdated medicines.

  • Keep medicines out of the sight and reach of small children.

When dealing with poisons other than medicine, keep the following in mind:

  • Always keep products in their original containers.

  • Don't use soft drink or food containers to store other products.

  • Make sure products have clear labels.

  • Store cleaning products away from food.

  • Put cleaners away right after use.

  • Throw away unfinished alcoholic drinks.

  • Do not leave small children alone with harmful products.

  • Put safety latches on cabinets within reach of children.

What to do when you call for help

  • Take the product or empty bottle with you to the phone.

  • Bring the child with you. Do not leave the child with the poison.

  • Be ready to provide the following information: age and weight of the person; exact name of the product or substance taken; what it looks like; and how much was taken.

When in doubt, check it out

Don't wait to investigate if you find the following:

  • Open container or spill near child

  • Pills, berries or other unknown substance in the mouth

  • Redness, irritation or burns around the mouth or on the skin

  • Strange odor on the breath

  • Upset stomach, nausea, vomiting

  • Dizziness, unsteady walking

  • Coughing, choking, gagging