Accidental Poisoning

Poisons can be found in everyday items located in all areas of your home – kitchen, closets, bathrooms, attic, garage, dining room, laundry room, storage areas and basements. To help prevent accidental poisoning, follow these poison prevention tips.

Washington Poison Center Toll-free hotline: 1-800-222-1222 Voice and TDD/TTY

Poison Prevention Tips

  • Use child-resistant containers (but remember: child-resistant containers are not completely childproof).
  • Keep potentially poisonous products in their original containers (see below for product list).
  • Place potentially poisonous products out
    of reach immediately after use.
  • Put Mr. Yuk stickers on all poisonous products in and around your home, and teach children what the stickers mean.
  • For more information on Mr. Yuk—or to order Mr. Yuk stickers—visit the Washington Poison Center's Web site at:
  • Keep emergency numbers (including the Washington Poison Center) next to your phone.

Make sure these products are stored safely:

  • Prescription and over-the-counter medications (including aspirin and vitamins)
  • Disinfectants, deodorants and air fresheners
  • All kinds of sprays
  • Polishes and cleansing powder
  • Fertilizers and weed killers
  • Insect and rodent poison; slug bait
  • Paint remover and turpentine
  • Cosmetics
  • Soaps, detergents and shampoo
  • Toilet bowl and drain cleaners
  • Lye and bleach
  • Kerosene and lighter fluids
  • Insect repellent
  • Mothballs and pesticides

Note: Special care should also be taken with house plants as many may be poisonous if eaten by humans or pets.

What to do when someone is poisoned:

If it is a life-threatening emergency, call 9-1-1. If you suspect a possible poisoning—or for more information on potential poisons—call the Washington Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222.

Be prepared to answer the following questions:

  • What was taken? (Exact name of the product.) Bring product container to the phone if possible.
  • When was it taken?
  • How much was taken?
  • Who took it? Body size makes a big difference in determining a poisonous dose.
  • The name, condition, age and weight of the patient.
  • Address and telephone number from where you are calling.

About the Washington Poison Center

The Washington Poison Center is a 24-hour telephone service providing information and emergency response for poisonings. Staffed by nurses, pharmacists and poison information specialists — and supported by a board-certified clinical toxicologist—the center handles over 70,000 calls a year. To learn more, visit the center's Web site at

Other languages (All files are PDF.)

DOH Pub 821-010
Revised - March 2008
Reviewed annually

This document was produced in cooperation with the
Emergency Management Division of the Washington State Military Department.