Poison Prevention: Keep your family safe
Posted on 04/03/2024

Ingestion or inhalation of substances or chemicals commonly found within or nearby the home can result in life-threatening exposure for children, adults, and pets. Staff at BFHD encourage residents to evaluate their environment and consider these prevention tips to reduce the risk of poisoning, making our homes and communities safer and healthier places to enjoy living.


Remember that in the case of exposure, Washington Poison Center is staffed with experts available through their 24/7/365 hotline by calling 1-800-222-1222. 



  • Know the name, purpose, dosage, and frequency of all medication including both prescribed and over the counter.
  • Read labels thoroughly paying attention to side effects, ingredients, and drug interactions.  Keep glasses or a magnifying glass on hand for small print that can be difficult to read.
  • Discuss all medications with the physician and talk with the pharmacist to ensure full understanding of medications and side effects for both prescribed and over the counter.
  • Lock medications away from children or vulnerable adults.  Stay prepared for an unexpected visit by making a habit of keeping medications safely secured.  While personal pill boxes are valuable to ensure medication is taken as prescribed, remember to store these containers in a safe location.
  • Ask the pharmacist if hard to swallow medications are available in a chewable or liquid.  If not, explain challenges to the pharmacist and physician so a safe option can be made available.
  • Discuss with the physician and caregiver how eye drops, inhalers, or injections can be safely administered when there are barriers such as limitation with fine motor skills.
  • Pediatricians and PCPs may provide guidance on how to administer medications to children.  Ask the pharmacist for age-appropriate dispensers. 
  • Check expiration dates for medications and safely dispose of unused or expired medicines per FDA guidelines. Disposal of Unused Medicines: What You Should Know | FDA


Cleaners and Household Chemicals:   

  • Store cleaning supplies in a secure, out of reach location away from food and beverage storage.
  • Keep substances in their clearly labeled, original container.
  • Store in the environment and temperature indicated on the label.  Keep in mind the temperature fluctuations in our area that occur throughout the year, including our extreme summer heat. 
  • Never mix chemicals as hazardous fumes could result in poisoning through inhalation.
  • Utilize fans and open windows or doors as needed to provide proper ventilation.
  • Keep in mind the risk associated with commonly used items such as nail polish remover, pesticides, gardening supplies and fertilizer.
  • Remember that common items stored in the refrigerator such as raw foods can be sources of harmful bacteria such as salmonella or e coli.


Reminders for Households with Children in the home: 

  • Young kids are often eye-level with items under the kitchen and bathroom sinks, so make sure household cleaning products and personal care products up and away, out of children’s reach and sight.
  • Keep all household cleaning products in their original containers. Also, when buying products, look for child-resistant containers to help prevent poisoning to children.
  • Read and follow product labels. Check for ingredients that can be especially poisonous to kids and make sure you use and store products according to the label. Kids can get into things quickly, so remember not to leave cleaning products or personal care products unattended while you are using them.
  • Do you daily visual sweeps of your home for open or accessible products like cleaning supplies, liquid laundry packets personal care products, plants, pesticides, alcohol, and medicine.
  • Save the Poison Help number in your phone and post it visibly at home: 1-800-222-1222 and teach your kids how and when to call if they are ever home alone.
  Poison Prevention