Prevention Basics

Poisons can be found everywhere. Items commonly found in and around the home can easily become a danger, especially to children, if they are left in the open within reach. The Indiana Poison Center (IPC) encourages everyone to take some simple steps.

  • Lock away all potential poisons out of the reach and sight of young children. Putting things up high is not enough—children climb.
  • Keep products properly labeled and in their original containers. (That way you'll keep the instructions for proper use.)
  • Store household products separately from food.
  • Dispose of unused and expired medicine safely.
  • When available, purchase products in child-resistant containers, keeping in mind that child resistant does not equate to childproof.
  • Take medication out of the sight of your children. Never call medicine "candy."
  • Never mix household products unless the instructions say to do so (e.g. ammonia and bleach).
  • If you are called away while using a product, take it or your child with you or put the product away. Never leave a young child alone with a product.
  • Label all the plants, trees and shrubs in and around your home. If a child eats part of a plant, the Poison Control Specialist needs to know exactly what was eaten.
  • Teach your children to ask an adult before eating or drinking anything they're not sure about. Some medicines and household products look and smell like things that are good to eat and drink.
  • Always read the label before giving or taking medication or using household products – never guess.
  • Put the number for the IPC, 1.800.222.1222, on or near every telephone in the home and program it into all cellular phones.
  • Make sure babysitters and family members caring for your children also have easy access to emergency numbers whether at or away from home