Preventing Accidental Poisoning at Home


It can happen in an instant. What is obviously Fabuloso, (a purple-colored cleaner to an adult), may be easily mistaken as grape juice to a child. Magnets and button batteries found in small electronics such as remote controls, toys, and games, can cause life-threatening injuries if swallowed. One person's colorful pill left on a coffee table may be seen to a child as a yummy piece of candy.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, every day, over 300 children in the United States ages 0 to 19 are treated in an emergency department, and two die as a result of being poisoned.

Here are some tips to help ensure that your family remains safe around medicine and other products with the potential to harm. These prevention tips were adapted from the American Association of Poison Control Center.

Proper Storage:

The following is a list of products that should be kept out of sight and reach of children and stored in the original containers. You may also store these items in cabinets secured with a child-resistant lock. However, please note that any lock has the potential to fail and, therefore, not 100% child-proof. This list is not exhaustive but includes the more common products and circumstances that are involved in accidental poisoning in the home.

Other Prevention Tips for Home: 

Important Numbers:

  • Emergency dial 911
  • Poison Control 1 (800) 222-1222

During this pandemic, we are likely spending close to 100% of our time in our homes. Now is a good time to survey our homes for potential risks of accidental exposure to poison and remove such hazards out of the sight/reach of children and older vulnerable adults. Please remain diligent in protecting your family. Staying safe at home is more important now than ever before!

While the Healthy Homes Coalition of West Michigan has suspended home visits, we're here to answer your questions and concerns! If you have a concern about the safety of your home or questions on how to make your home healthier, please email us at or call us at (616) 241-3300. You may also visit Facebook, Healthy Homes Coalition of West Michigan or website,