Sign In
Boston Public Health Commission Home


Mar 21
Poison Prevention Week: Protecting Your Family from Accidental Poisoning

poison prevention.png

Do you have the poison control center phone number listed on your refrigerator? Are your detergents and cleaners locked away safely? Do you always lock up your medicines, especially when children are present? If you answered no to any of these safety questions, keep reading to learn more about how you can prevent accidental poisoning in your home.


Medicine Safety

  • Keep all medications out of reach and out of sight. This will eliminate any chance of people, especially children, taking medication that is not meant for them. In some cases, children may mistake the medication for candy, because some medication is similar in size and color to popular candies.
  • Side effects of ingestion in children include behavior changes, diarrhea, dizziness, drowsiness, fatigue, headache, loss of appetite, nausea, thirst, minor skin or eye irritation and joint pain.

Liquid Laundry Packs

  • Liquid laundry packs are designed to dissolve when liquid comes into contact with them. If your baby picks one up, suspecting that it is candy, the baby's saliva can dissolve the liquid laundry pack immediately.
  • Side effects of liquid laundry pack ingestion in children include difficulty breathing, excessive vomiting, severe eye burns and irritation, temporary vision loss, and loss of consciousness.



  • If you think someone has been poisoned, call 911 and then contact the Poison Help number. Don't wait for the person to show signs of poisoning before calling for help.
  • Keep small children away from items that may contain small button batteries. Button batteries can be highly poisonous, even deadly, if swallowed.
  • Keep laundry packets sealed in their original containers and out of reach of children.
  • Use proper safety supplies, like cabinet slide locks, to secure medications, cleaning supplies and other hazardous items. See the BPHC Injury Prevention Resources for more tips on home safety supplies.

If you suspect someone has been poisoned, immediately call 911, then contact the Poison Help Number for consultations at 1 (800) 222-1222.

Additional Resources

BPHC Injury Prevention Program Resources


There are no comments for this post.

 ‭(Hidden)‬ Blog Tools

Boston Public Health Commission
1010 Massachusetts Ave, 6th Floor, Boston, MA 02118.
Phone:(617) 534-5395 Email: