National Poison Prevention Week Safety Tips

Observed in the third full week of March each year, National Poison Prevention Week helps promote safety by highlighting the dangers of poisoning. Here are some tips to help keep you and your loved ones safe:


  • Don’t take medication in the dark. If you can’t see it, don’t swallow it.
  • Don’t rely on memory: Read the label every time you take medication, before you take it.
  • Replace the cap on the bottle right away.
  • Be sure you are not using two or more products that contain the same drug.
  • Get rid of expired drugs.
  • Review all medications with your doctor or pharmacist at least once a year and when you start using a new medication.  



  • Keep all medicine, vitamins, and supplements in their original, correctly labeled containers.
  • Lock medications in cabinets away from children.


  • Store foods at proper temperature, and don’t leave leftovers out for long.
  • Keep drain openers and cleaning products where children can’t get to them.
  • Never wash fruits and vegetables with bleach or disinfectants.

Garage and Basement

  • Keep paint, gasoline, oil, antifreeze, and other chemicals in locked storage.
  • Keep laundry products out of children’s reach.

Other Areas

  • Make sure indoor plants won’t harm pets.
  • Return household cleaning products to storage immediately after using them.



  • Make sure that children use art supplies according to directions on the labels and that they wash their hands after using them.
  • Check lunchboxes for leftovers and spills.

Spring Cleaning

  • Never mix bleach with disinfectants; you may create toxic chlorine gas.
  • Open windows and/or turn on fans before using harsh chemicals.
  • Keep car cleaning products, waxes, and window washing fluids away from children and pets.

Summer Gardening and Grilling

  • Store poisons and all other gardening chemicals where children and pets can’t get to them.
  • Wear a mask and protective clothing when spraying any chemical.
  • Clean grills before using and cook meats to recommended safe temperatures.


When accidents happen with chemicals or medicine, always call for help. Contact the Alabama Poison Information Center at Children’s of Alabama at 1-800-222-1222. 


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