Poison Proofing Your Home: Identifying Common Household Poisons

Poison Proofing Your Home: Identifying Common Household Poisons 1 Daily Mom, Magazine For Families

Statistics show that over 300 children in the United States are treated everyday in an emergency department from being poisoned. The CDC reports that at least two children die daily as a result of exposure to poisons. These numbers are dramatic, so it is necessary to check your home and property for potential hazards.

There are many items in every room of your home that can be poisonous, especially to children. Many of us use these common household items multiple times a day and do not think twice about their hazardous effects; however, it is important to recognize that these products are toxic and can result in serious injury or death.

Poison Proofing Your Home: Identifying Common Household Poisons 2 Daily Mom, Magazine For Families

A child can become ill in several different ways after being exposed to household poisons. If a child gets a product on their skin or eyes, burning, redness, or itching could occur. Poisons with a strong smell can produce a headache, cause drowsiness, nausea, or loss of consciousness. Poisons that are consumed can cause serious damage to the esophagus and internal organs.

Poison Proofing Your Home: Identifying Common Household Poisons 3 Daily Mom, Magazine For Families

Types of Common Household Poisons


Cooking oils
Non-stick sprays
Dishwasher detergents
Drain cleaners
Dry cleaning liquids
Floor cleaners
Furniture polish and creams
Glass cleaners
Metal cleaners
Oven cleaners
Scouring powders

Poison Proofing Your Home: Identifying Common Household Poisons 4 Daily Mom, Magazine For Families

Since single-wash dish and laundry detergent packets became available, the rate of poisoning incidents in children increased significantly. A study showed that in the first six months of 2013, almost 5,000 children under the age of 5 were poisoned from individual detergent packets.

Laundry Room

Laundry detergents (liquid and powdered)
Spot removers
Fabric softener
Spray starch

Poison Proofing Your Home: Identifying Common Household Poisons 5 Daily Mom, Magazine For Families

Bedroom and Bathroom

Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
All drugs and medicines
Analgesics (pain killer)
Anticonvulsants (antiseizure drug)
Antihistamines (allergy medicine)
Antiseptics (mouthwash)
Barbiturates (sedatives)
Bath salts
Cough syrups and lozenges
Wart removers
Eye drops
Lotions and creams
Nicotine patches
Pain remedies
Bath oils
Rubbing alcohol
Sleep aids
Toilet bowl cleaner
Zinc oxide
Jewelry cleaner

Poison Proofing Your Home: Identifying Common Household Poisons 6 Daily Mom, Magazine For Families

If you have expired or old medications that you have not used in a while, it is important to safely dispose of these medicines. It is no longer recommended that medications are flushed down the toilet because they will get into the sewer system and become recalculated throughout the water supply. Instead, utilize a drug recycling program. Many local police and fire departments will host a “Drug Take Back Day” where you can bring in your unwanted medications and the officials will properly dispose of them for you.

Cosmetics and Toiletries

Aftershave lotions
Cologne and perfumes
Hair products (hair spray, dyes, gels, mousse, etc.)
Hair removers
Nail polish
Polish remover

Poison Proofing Your Home: Identifying Common Household Poisons 7 Daily Mom, Magazine For Families


Rat poison
Plants (There are thousands of poisonous plants. Contact Poison Control if you suspect a wild flower, seed, bulb, berry, mushroom, or wood has been ingested.)

Poison Proofing Your Home: Identifying Common Household Poisons 8 Daily Mom, Magazine For Families

There are several plants that homeowners tend to have in their household unaware that they are poisonous and have harmful effects. If you have children, refrain from having the following house plants:

  • Hyacinth
  • Narcissus
  • Daffodil
  • Oleander
  • Dieffenbachia
  • Elephant Ear
  • Rosary Pea
  • Castor Bean

Garage and Basement

Automotive products (waxes, engine fluids, windshield washer fluid, motor oil)
Paint remover
Paint thinner
Petroleum products (kerosene, lighter fluid)
Rust remover
Solvents (Acetone)

Poison Proofing Your Home: Identifying Common Household Poisons 9 Daily Mom, Magazine For Families

Poison Control reports that children get into gasoline most often in the summertime. While parents are fueling lawn mowers and trimming equipment, kids have more of an opportunity to ingest gasoline from a gas can. If your child swallows gasoline, give them a few sips of water or milk and call poison control immediately.


Adhesive and glues
Air fresheners
Broken plaster
Camping or candle oils
Carbon monoxide (vehicle exhaust, heaters, grills)
Cigarettes and tobacco
Liquid incense
Liquor and alcoholic beverages
Carpet and upholstery cleaners
Gun cleaners
Chlorine and other pool chemicals

Protect Yourself and Your Children

  • Keep poisons in their original bottle or make sure other bottles are properly labeled. If you choose to transfer your products into a different container or spray bottle, make a label for the bottle so other members of your household know what is in the bottle. Never use food containers for storage.
  • Never mix household products together. For example, combining bleach and ammonia can create toxic fumes.
  • Wear protective clothing. Use gloves, protective eyewear, and clothing that covers your skin when using chemicals.
  • Notify Poison Control for any incidents of accidental poisoning. Stay calm and act fast. Call Poison Control immediately if your child has ingested a poison. If you are unsure if your child has ingested a poison, but you suspect it, it is better to report it to be on the safe side.

Program the Poison Control phone number in your cell phone: 1-800-222-1222.

  • Keep the above listed poisons out of reach of children. Store poisonous products up high where children cant access them or in locked cabinets.
  • Disinfect and decontaminate. Wash your hands after handling cleaning products and toxic chemicals before holding or touching your children.
  • Educate children. Teach children that even though some products may smell good or be a pretty color, or look like candy, doesnt mean they are safe.
For more information on other items that need to be baby-proofed throughout your house, check out Baby Proofing Tips For New & Experienced Parents.

Sources: Poison Safety, Tips to Prevent Poisonings, How to Properly Dispose of Medication, Child Poisoning Facts and Statistics, Hidden Dangers in the Home, Common Poisonous Plants and Plant Parts, Poison Statistics, Gasoline and Toddlers: Summer Risk
Photo Credits: Sasha Staton, Pixabay

Sasha, mother of one, never has a dull moment with her wild child and prefers it that way! Previously a law enforcement officer, she is now the spokesperson for a fire department. Sasha lives in Daytona Beach, Florida and enjoys running, shopping, and pool parties.

#1 Reason Why You Should Fill Your Empty Glass And Rest

“You have to put your oxygen mask on first before you can help others.” “You can’t pour from an empty glass.” I’m sure you’ve heard those...