Menstuff® is actively compiling information, books and resources on the dangers of poison.

Disclaimer - Information is designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional services. Any medical decisions should be made in conjunction with your physician. We will not be liable for any complications, injuries or other medical accidents arising from or in connection with, the use of or reliance upon any information on the web.


Children Act Fast...So Do Poisons!
Poison Control Center
Nationwide hotline - 800.222.1222
California - 800.8POISON (76-4766) - 24 hour crisis line
Outside California -
Or Check Front of Yellow Pages for Poison Control Numbers
Or call 911


Who Gets Poisoned
Simple things you can do now to protect your kids from poisons
Protect Yourself from Breathing Household Poisons
Packaging & Storage

Sitter's Guide to Prevention
What is Syrup of Ipecac?
National Poison Prevention Week - Mar 20-26, 2005

Emergency Action for Poisoning

First steps after an accidental exposure - Remain Calm. For Unconscious patients, Convulsions, or any Difficulty breathing, call 911. Otherwise call the Poison Control Center located in the front of your yellow pages. Information the Poison Center Specialist Will Need:

Always call, even if you are not sure. Better to be safe! 

Warning signs of a breathing injury:

Specific poisonings:

Poison Control Centers
Poison control centers help millions of people each year, ensuring that poisonings are treated rapidly and correctly. They managed more than 2 million cases in 1996, about 75% of these cases were managed at home over the phone with the help of specialists trained in poison information. Things to remember:

Who gets poisoned

Poisonings happen every day. In 1996 alone, about 5 million poisoning exposures occurred and each year, nearly 900,000 visits to the emergency room occur because of poisonings. Most poisonings happen in the home (91%) and involve children under the age of six (53%). Among children under 12, poisonings are slightly more common among boys with very few cases classified as suicide. Among adolescents, more than half of poison exposures involve girls, and about half of all poison exposures among teens are classified as suicide attempts. It is important to be aware of the different risks affecting your children at different ages and stages of development.

Simple things you can do now to protect your kids from poisons

Protect yourself from breathing household poisons

1. Never mix products together unless the product instructions state it is safe to do so. Mixing household cleaners can create poison gas. Examples Mixing together chlorine bleach or chlorine cleansers with ammonia. Mixing together chlorine products with shower tile cleaner, toilet bowl cleaner or any type of acid. Completely rinse off the first product before applying a second product.

2. Never sniff containers to discover what is inside. Breathing chemical fumes or sprays can hurt you. Thousands of people are poisoned each year by the incorrect use of products found in the house, basement, garage and garden. Many of these products can also irritate the skin and eyes and some can go through the skin into the body. Breathing too much of these is dangerous:

3. Using pesticides in the wrong way: Misuse or overuse of bug sprays or other pesticides can expose you to harmful chemicals. It is very important to carefully read and follow the directions on the label. An insecticide fogger (or "bomb") can be a special problem. It comes in an aerosol can which releases its spray for several hours. As soon as a fogger is set off, everyone should leave. Take pets (and fish tanks) with you. The exact amount of time to stay out is usually on the label-it can be up to 12 hours or more. Upon reentering, open windows immediately to air out the house. Do Not use the fogger as a hand held spray.

4. Read labels and follow directions carefully.

5. Know the names of all your plants and which ones are poisonous.

Packaging and Storage

Signs & Symptoms of Someone Who Has Used an Inhalant

How to tell if someone you know is using inhalants:

How To Help:  In an emergency, a few simple steps can save a life:

Inhalant Info:  Don't wait - if you or someone you know needs help, talk to parents, teachers, or a doctor. The following organizations offer counseling referrals, free brochures and more:

If you would never consider playing Russian roulette with a bullet in every chamber, don't play it with inhalants. And, if you're a parent, wake-up!  Talk to your children about the dangers and side effects and lock up toxic household products that can be used as an inhalant. Don't put it off. This is one talk you don't want to wait on. You might be a day too late. Just do it!


Make sure that older care givers - grandparents, for example, do not leave their prescription medication s within a child's easy reach. For instance, Grandma should never leave her heart medication in her purse, which is on the kitchen table and within the reach of her toddler grandson. This is an all-too-common scenario that can have tragic results.

Remember that child resistant does not mean child proof, but it does help prevent many poisonings. However, even with precautions, poisonings sometimes happen. You can then call for help from the 24 hour free hotline at the Poison Center at 1-800-876-4766 or TTY 1-800-972-3323 (for speech and hearing impaired only).

Sitter's Guide to Poison Prevention

The Poison Specialist will ask you these questions:

Always call, even if you are not sure. Better to be safe.

What is Syrup of Ipecac?

Ipecac is a medicine used to induce vomiting.

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Of the 5 million poisonings that happen each year, 53% happen to children under 6.

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