Poison Safety

Poisonings are a leading cause of death and injury across the lifespan. Half of poisonings reported to poisoning centers happen in children less than 6 years of age.

Basic Safety Rules to Prevent Poisonings


  • Read product labels to ensure proper use and storage of the product.
  • Store poisons out of sight and/or out of reach in a locked cabinet.
    • This includes personal care products (makeup, perfumes, toothpaste, etc.), medicines (including vitamins), plants, cleaning products, pesticides, art supplies and alcoholic beverages.
  • Keep the Poison Center phone number handy.
  • Never call medicine “candy,” and teach children not to take medicine from anyone except a grown-up they know.
  • Store products in their original containers and buy child-resistant packages when available. Install carbon monoxide detectors in your home.
  • Keep children away from outside plants, berries and mushrooms.
  • Teach children:
    • Do not touch
    • Do not taste
    • Ask a grownup first

The Maryland Poison Center


The Maryland Poison Center is the first place to call if you suspect a poisoning has happened. The center is staffed around the clock with pharmacists and nurses to manage the calls.

They provide answers to non-urgent questions as well as give emergency treatment advice. The majority of cases can be handled safely at home.
  • Call 911 if the person is choking, can’t breathe, or is having a seizure.
  • For a poison emergency, call the Maryland Poison Center at 800-222-1222.
For additional information, visit the the Maryland Poison Center website.