The Dangers of Poison

It's estimated that more than four million people are poisoned in the United States each year. No one is immune from poisoning, yet children under the age of six account for about 60 percent of all poisonings. Since most poisonings are accidental, taking precautions to prevent them is very important.

Any substance that can cause harmful effects if used in the wrong way can be a poison. Poisons can be absorbed into the body when swallowed, inhaled, spilled or splashed on the skin or in the eyes. They can also be injected under the skin. To prevent poisonings at home, store all medicines and household products in their original containers, use child-resistant packages and keep medicines and other potentially harmful products out of sight and reach of children.

Being prepared can mean the difference between life and death. Keep the poison center emergency phone number on or near your telephone with other emergency numbers. Have ipecac syrup on hand, but do not use it unless the poison center tells you to.

Your Poison Control Center
Poison control centers provide emergency telephone services. Doctors, nurses, and pharmacists who are experts in the treatment of all kinds of poison emergencies staff them.


You can find the poison control center in your area by:

Checking the emergency numbers listed in the front of your phone book
Calling the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 1-800-222-1222
Visiting their website at