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Help keep kids safe from poisoning.

More than 1 million American children younger than 6 years old are poisoned every year. Children that young may try to sample items even if they taste bad. Some of the items could be cleaning supplies.

Whether you're a parent, a grandparent or a caregiver, these steps can help reduce the risk of an accidental poisoning in your home:

  • Store items like medicines, cleaners, paints and pesticides out of sight and reach of children. The best place is a locked cabinet.
  • If you keep harmful products in cabinets a child can reach, put safety latches on the doors. Unsafe household products are bleach, oven cleaner, dishwasher products, art supplies and alcohol.
  • When you're using a poisonous product, put it in a safe place before you answer the phone or the door.
  • Buy medicines in child-resistant packaging and keep them in their original containers. Don't keep old medicines in your house; get rid of them. To learn how to safely throw away medicines, go to and type "safe disposal of medicines" in the search box.
  • Never refer to medicines as candy, and try not to take your medicine in front of small children. (They may try to mimic you later.)
  • Be aware of items in a handbag that could be poisonous, such as makeup and medicines. Store handbags out of kids' reach.

If you think a child may have been poisoned, call the nationwide poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If he or she is not breathing or has collapsed, call 911.

Sources: American Academy of Pediatrics; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


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