Kids & Teens

Poison Control


What is a poison?

Poison is something that makes you very sick if you eat, drink, touch or smell it. The following are some possible forms of poison:

  • Some types of plants
  • Outdoor mushrooms
  • Insect and Snake bites
  • Household cleaners
  • Medicines if not taken as prescribed
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Lead
  • Mercury
  • Poison Oak

Here are some tips to help keep you safe:

  • Post the National Capital Poison Center number 1-800-222-1222 on or near every home telephone.
  • Store all medicines, household products, and personal care products in locked cabinets, and out of reach of children.
  • Know the names of the plants in your house and yard. Identify poisonous plants and remove them.
  • Ask your parents to place carbon monoxide detectors near the bedrooms in your house. For more information on Carbon Monoxide, visit
  • A light should be turned on when giving or taking medication to help make sure that something isn't taken incorrectly.
  • Follow directions on labels when taking medicines. Be aware of potential interactions with other medicines and never share prescription drugs. Use poisonous products safely:
  • Always store household products in their original containers. Do not use food containers such as cups or bottles to store chemical products such as cleaning solutions or cosmetic products.
  • Always read the labels before using a potentially poisonous product.
  • Turn on the fan and open windows when using chemical products.
  • Never mix household and chemical products together. A poisonous gas may be created when mixing chemicals. For example, using or mixing bleach with products that contain ammonia will release hazardous irritating gases and even cause death.

What to do if a poisoning occurs:

  1. Remain calm
  2. If you have a poison emergency and the victim has collapsed or is not breathing call 911. Call the National Capital Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 if you have a poisoning and the victim is alert (you should also call 911 if anything has you very concerned).
  3. Try to have the following information ready if possible:
    • the person's age and estimated weight
    • the container or bottle of the poisonous product, if available
    • time that the poison exposure occurred
    • your name and phone number
  4. Follow the instructions from the emergency operator or the poison control center

In case of any exposure, no matter how minor it may seem, always call the Poison Center.

Remember, Be Smart, Be Safe!

Sources: The safety tips in this section were compiled from the following great internet resources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (