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Prevent Poisonings

locked cabinet


  • Use only child resistant covers.
  • Keep in locked cabinets.
  • Return to safe storage immediately after use.
  • Always measure dose - don't guess.
  • Never tell children that medicine is candy.
  • Never take medicine in front of children. They often imitate adults.
  • an opened pill bottle next to an opened purse
    Keep all purses out of your child's reach. They may contain medicines or other items that could harm a child.

Disposal of medicines

  • Old, unused and expired prescription and over the counter medication should not be kept
  • Always be careful to remove and/or destroy all personal information on the medication container
  • Wrap medication containers in a thick paper bag or plastic bag that can be closed and place in the trash
  • Place medicines in the trash just before pick-up so that children and animals don’t get to it
  • Tablets and capsules can be crushed or melted in water and mixed with kitty litter, coffee grounds, sand or other kitchen garbage, put in a plastic bag and thrown away
  • Some cities and counties in California have drop-off sites that you can take your medication to, call your county's hazardous waste collection center to find out
  • Flushing medication down the toilet is discouraged and it is better to try one of the other ways listed above, but keeping the home safe by removing old and unused medication is most important

two different kinds of containers with an arrow between the two representing swapped contents or labels

Household products

  • Select products with child resistant covers.
  • Keep in locked cabinets.
  • Return to safe storage immediately after use.
  • Store products and food in separate areas.
  • Keep products in original containers. Never put them into food or beverage containers.
  • Don't turn your back on a child when a product is within reach. If the phone or doorbell rings, take the child with you.



  • Know the names of all your plants and which ones are poisonous.
  • Keep all plants out of the reach of small children.
  • Teach children not to put any part of plants in their mouths.