Poison Lookout Checklist

The home areas listed below are the most common site of accidental poisonings. Follow this checklist to learn how to correct situations that may lead to poisonings.


  1. Do all harmful products in the cabinets have child-resistant caps? Products like furniture polishes, drain cleaners and some oven cleaners should have safety packaging to keep little children from accidentally opening the packages.

    YES_____ NO_____

  2. Are all potentially harmful products in their original containers? There are two dangers if products aren't stored in their original containers. Labels on the original containers often give first aid information if someone should swallow the product. And if products are stored in containers like drinking glasses or pop bottles, someone may think it is food and swallow it.

    YES_____ NO_____

  3. Are harmful products stored away from food? If harmful products are placed next to food, someone may accidentally get a food and a poison mixed up and swallow the poison.

    YES_____ NO_____

  4. Have all potentially harmful products been put up high and out of reach of children? The best way to prevent poisoning is making sure that it's impossible to find and get at the poisons. Locking all cabinets that hold dangerous products is the best poison prevention.

    YES_____ NO_____


  1. Did you ever stop to think that medicines could poison if used improperly? Many children are poisoned each year by overdoses of aspirin. If aspirin can poison, just think of how many other poisons might be in your medicine cabinet.
    YES_____ NO_____
  2. Do your aspirins and other potentially harmful products have child-resistant closures? Aspirins and most prescription drugs come with child-resistant caps. Check to see yours have them, and that they are properly secured. Check your prescriptions before leaving the pharmacy to make sure the medicines are in child- resistant packaging. These caps have been shown to save the lives of children.

    YES_____ NO_____

  3. Have you thrown out all out-of-date prescriptions? As medicines get older, the chemicals inside them can change. So what was once a good medicine may now be a dangerous poison. Flush all old drugs down the toilet. Rinse the container well, then discard it.

    YES_____ NO_____

  4. Are all medicines in their original containers with the original labels? Prescription medicines may or may not list ingredients. The prescription number on the label will, however, allow rapid identification by the pharmacist of the ingredients should they not be listed. Without the original label and container, you can't be sure of what you're taking. After all, aspirin looks a lot like poisonous roach tablets.

    YES_____ NO_____

  5. If your vitamins or vitamin/mineral supplements contain iron, are they in child-resistant packaging? Most people think of vitamins and minerals as foods and, therefore, nontoxic, but a few iron pills can kill a child.

    YES_____ NO_____

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