Poison Prevention :: Nationwide Children's Hospital

Helping Hand Logo


Poison Prevention

If You Think Someone is Poisoned:

Image of Hotline

Call the Poison Center first!

Direct Phone Line: 1-800-222-1222

T.T.Y: 866-688-0088

If the person has collapsed or stopped breathing, call 911 or your local emergency number RIGHT AWAY!

  • Medical help is available 24 hours every day.
  • Calls are private and free to the public.
  • Calls are answered by specially trained pharmacists and nurses.
  • Bring the person and the poison to the phone.

Why Young Children Get into Things

Children are constantly changing and growing. They are naturally curious so they are often “getting into things.”  They learn by doing what they see others do.  When they see someone using a household product, smoking cigarettes, taking medicine, or drinking alcohol, they copy what they see.  Products considered safe from the reach of a 10-month-old child may become easy to reach for him or her just a few months later.  Make sure that relatives, friends, and baby sitters also poison-proof their homes.

How to “Be Poison Smart!®”

Look for “pretty poisons” - look-alike products that, to a child, look like something good to eat or drink but can be harmful if tasted or swallowed, or if they get it on their skin or in their eyes.  Every time you take something home, ask yourself:

  • Is this product a “pretty poison”?
  • Is it medicine or vitamins?
  • Does it have alcohol in it?
  • Does it contain gasoline, insecticides or pesticides?

If the answer is “yes” to any of the above questions, store the product out of sight and out of the reach of children!

Storing Products:

Image of pores

Use low shelves to store harmless items and leave space for poisons in high cabinets.


Always use products with child-resistant caps.  Remember – the caps aren’t childproof.  Keep products in their original, labeled containers.  Read the entire label before using.


Never call medicine "candy."’  Don’t take medicine in front of a child.  Never take or give medicine in the dark.


Know the names of all your plants, both indoors and out.  To find out the plant names, take a branch or leaf to your local plant store.  Keep poisonous plants out of children’s reach.

How to Poison-Proof Your Home

Look for “pretty poisons” in every room in your home.  Look through cabinets, cupboards, drawers and shelves.  Remove and store all poisonous products on high cabinets or in locked cupboards.  Use this guide to poison-proof your home:

Image of pores

Poison Prevention (PDF)

HH-IV-30 6/81, Revised 9/10 Copyright 1981-2010, Nationwide Children’s Hospital

Nationwide Children's Hospital
700 Children's Drive Columbus, Ohio 43205 614.722.2000