Talk to your children about poisons…
Just as you would talk to your children about wearing a seat belt or to not talk to strangers, it is just as important to talk to them about poisons.
What Poisons Look Like
A poison can come in pretty or ugly colors, or it can be invisible, and it can come in many shapes and sizes, smell good or bad, or taste good or bad. A poison can even look like something good to eat or drink.
How People are Poisoned
It is possible to be poisoned by eating, drinking, touching, or smelling a substance. Some things, such as medicine, can cause illness if it is the wrong kind, or if someone takes too much—it is always important for a child to ask a grown-up before taking any medication. It should also be emphasized that a child never put anything in their mouth if they are not sure that it is safe to eat—they should be encouraged to always ask a grown-up first!
Where Poisons are Found
Poisons are everywhere: they can be found in your garage, in your kitchen, in your bathroom, or in any room in your home. They can even be found in Grandma’s purse! Poisons can be found outside too: some plants, berries and mushrooms can be harmful.
What to do if Someone is Poisoned
If a child thinks they may have been exposed to a poison, they should tell a grown-up right away so the adult can call the Poison Center. The Poison Center will be able to determine if treatment needs to be administered. If a child thinks Mom or Dad, or a brother or sister, or a friend or pet got into a poison, the child can call the Poison Center too. Learn the Poison Center’s phone number (1.800.222.1222) and make sure you have the number of the Poison Center on or near the telephones in your house.
Safety & Poisons
These points should be emphasized:
- If you don’t know what something is, do not put it in your mouth—always ask a grown-up first.
- Never take medicine unless a grown-up gives it to you.
- Some plants and berries are poisonous—always ask a grown-up before putting them in your mouth.
- Always let grown-ups use spray cans and bottles—they should not be touched or played with!
- Stay away from things used to clean the house, clothes or car.
Who is Mr. Yuk?
Mr. Yuk means no! Teaching a child about Mr. Yuk and putting Mr. Yuk stickers on potentially harmful products tells a child not touch, taste or smell it—that it could hurt them, and to get an adult for help. If they see another child playing with something that has a Mr. Yuk sticker, they should get a grown-up right away.
Download and print our Poison Safety Checklist to help make your home safer.