It is imperative that your babysitter, whether a sibling or a
neighborhood teen, knows about poison. Keeping children safe is a serious and
important part of babysitting.
Poisons can look like things that are good to eat and drink. They can
come in many colors and forms including solids, liquids, sprays or gases. Young
children are curious. They like to put things in their mouth, especially if
they look colorful or smell nice. It’s a good idea to leave the emergency
information handy for babysitters. Make sure they have the parents’ contact
information and also the number for your poison control center: 1.800.222.1222.
What are some common
Poisonous products that may be found in and around the home include
medicines, vitamins and iron pills, cleaning products, eye drops, laundry
products, nail polish products and other cosmetics, batteries, bug and weed
killers, cigarettes, alcohol, mouthwash, plants (indoor and outdoor, and
How can children be kept
safe from poison?
Follow these safety tips:
Keep children where you can see them at all times, even when you go to
answer the door or telephone. Never leave young children alone, not even for
just a minute!
All medicines and household cleaning products should be stored in locked
cabinets, out of the reach and sight of children. Do not leave poisons on a
counter or in an unlocked cabinet.
If you carry something that can be poisonous, such as a medicine or
cosmetics in a purse, make sure to put your purse somewhere up high and out of
sight and reach of the children.
Safety latches on drawers or cabinets, and child resistant caps on
bottles, are helpful in keeping poisons out of the hands of children. But
remember, they are not “child-proof” and do not substitute for your careful and
constant supervision. A curious and determined child can find a way to get into
The BEFORE, WHILE, and AFTER
using a cleaning product, read the poison control instructions on the bottle.
using a cleaner, never leave it out. A child may find it.
using a product, put it back in a locked cabinet. Make sure the container is
If medicine must be given to a child, follow the instructions exactly.
After using the medicine, make sure the cap is on tight and return the bottle
to a safe storage place right away. Never leave a child alone with the
What information about each
child should be handy?
Basic information should include:
Each child’s age and weight
Any allergies or medical conditions
Their doctor’s name and telephone number
How the parents can be reached in an emergency
If you think a child has been poisoned, don’t panic! Most poisonings can
be taken care of at home with the help of the poison center experts. Call
1-800-222-1222 right away. This call will get you to the local poison center.
Do not wait for the child to seem sick. It’s ok if it ends up not being an emergency,
The poison center experts will tell you what to do to help the child
They will probably ask you for:
- The child’s age and weight
- The information on the
container, or a description of what the child came in contact with
- The child’s symptoms
Make sure you know the poison center’s telephone number. Keep a card or
sticker with the poison center’s telephone number, carry it with you on your
babysitting jobs and save the number in your cell phone. GFM
For more poison prevention and first aid information call the Poison Help number
(1-800-222-1222). This call will reach the local poison center serving your
area? Courtesy of American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC).