Child Safety: Prevent Poisoning

According to the Centers for Disease control and Prevention (CDC) over 300 children under the age of 19 are treated for poisoning in emergency rooms every day in the U.S., two of whom die from their injuries. Some of the most dangerous substances in our homes are the ones which are not marked as poisonous, because they seem so harmless. Cleaning products, cosmetics, and even vitamins can poison your child.

Common Household Items

Cleaning products, including seemingly benign dish soap, are poisonous if ingested. So are cosmetics and toiletries, including those made for babies and children such as baby shampoo and bubble bath. That doesn’t mean you should never bathe your baby, or that your children cannot use store-bought soaps and shampoos safely, but it does mean you need to store these products safely out of reach. What makes them even more dangerous is the child-enticing packaging and tempting fragrances.


Let’s tackle drinking alcohol first. Of course you’re not going to intentionally give your small child alcohol to drink, but you may not realize that those “empties” can contain enough to poison your child, especially if you had a few friends over for dinner there are several glasses or bottles sitting around. While it may be tempting to kick back and take care of the mess in the morning, it is not unheard of for small children to get up in the night and sample the little swigs still sitting around. While most are put off by the taste of beer and wine, some are not, and most kids will find sweet drinks like wine coolers quite tasty.

Alcohol that is not intended for drinking can still cause alcohol poisoning, and some forms are poisonous in other ways. Mouthwash, hand sanitizer, and perfume are among the less obvious sources of alcohol your child might ingest.