Poisoning in Children

Your child swallowed a substance that may be toxic. No further medical care appears to be needed right now. Most poisonings happen in children under 6 years of age. Be sure to keep these things out of the reach of children. Keep child-proof tops on medicines and keep your local poison control center phone number handy.

How To Poison Proof Your Home

Children need protection from many common household products that are dangerous.

Any of the following items could make your child sick if swallowed or inhaled:

  • Medicines of all kinds, including vitamins, iron and herbal supplements.

  • Sprays – Cleaning mixtures or fluids, hair spray, perfumes, insect and weed killers.

  • Liquids - Soaps, mouth wash, nail polish remover, bleach, drain cleaner, fabric softeners, furniture polish, gasoline, turpentine, car care products, and paint.

Keep all your medicines and toxic products out of the reach of children. Do not leave them on counter tops, window sills, night stands, or dressers. Children often look through purses for gum or candy and accidentally mistake medicine for these items.

Keep your medicines completely out of reach. Keep your medicines in their original containers for easy identification. Use child safety latches or locks on cabinets that contain dangerous cleaning products or other toxic substances. Also, keep alcoholic beverages out of reach and do not store any of these products in soft drink bottles. Keep them in their original containers.

Sometimes the effects of drugs and other poisons are delayed.


  • Your child develops confusion, sleepiness, odd behavior, agitation or difficulty walking.

  • Your child develops breathing problems, coughing, or too much mucus.

  • Your child develops stomach ache, persistent vomiting, or diarrhea.

  • Your child develops weakness, fever, or dehydration.