The Top 3 Reasons Parents Should Call The Poison Control Center

Never hesitate to call Poison Control.

Originally Published: 
flickr / Michael J

Everybody knows that you need to keep babies away from poison. And that’s not just because Bret Michaels is always asking people to talk dirty to him. It’s more because your kids don’t want nothin’ but a good time, and things that look like fun can harm them real quick. You know your baby thinks every brightly colored cube of plastic is a chew toy, and you’ve probably done your due diligence in putting away the things you think are the real killers. But some of the stuff that prompts calls to Poison Control may surprise you. Be safe and check it out.

The Big 3

The most recent poison control statistics show that children under 6 years old made up a full 48 percent of the 2.2 million poison exposures in 2014. That’s a total of 1,031,927 kids exposed to poison or about 43 in 1000 children. You’d think with all the labels, warnings, and baby proofing available that number would be much lower. The problem is that some of the more serious dangers to kids are not as obvious you might think. Here are the ones to watch:

Cosmetics And Personal Care Products

These product offer a false sense of safety. After all, if you can put it on your body to make you smell less like a farm animal, or look more suave, then how could it kill (talking about the product, not your looks)?

The key here is the phrase “for external use only.” Ingestion of personal care products can cause serious harm. How often have you slapped on some deodorant just to cap it up and leave it out in the open? Or left the shampoo in the tub?

Because your kids’ modus operandi is “grab thing, put in mouth”, make sure that any cosmetics or hygiene products are locked up or kept higher than they can reach. That goes even for stuff like fluoridated toothpaste. That stuff tastes like bubblegum and a whole tube can be deadlier than Bazooka Joe’s jokes.


For those who don’t speak pharma, these are you basic over the counter pain killers. This one might surprise you because they have safety lids and whatnot. But here an interesting fact for you: those safety caps are approved as long as 80 percent of 5 year olds are unable to open them in 5 minutes. What if your kid is part of the other 20 percent?

Also, a lot of times the busy parenting life comes with distractions. You have an ache, reach for the acetaminophen, take out a pill, go for your water, and are suddenly beckoned by a hungry baby. You leave the pill on the table and your toddler thinks “free M&M.” Not so sweet.

Cleaning Products

This poison is obvious. It’s likely you have these behind locks. And that’s fine when your kid is rattling the cupboards. The danger comes in using them in a distracting environment. An open dishwasher door is a great thing to pull up on, and that detergent sure looks tasty.

Make sure that when you’re doing chores the kid is occupied as far from you if possible. If you don’t have backup, consider using a travel crib. Fussiness is better than a mouthful of soap. Finally, make sure the chemicals go from safe place, to use, back to safe place as quickly as possible.

Always Make The Call

If your kid is exposed to poison, do not hesitate to call the Poison Control Center. Do it immediately. Don’t wait and see, even if it was a “small amount.”

The poison control hotline is anonymous and they have the expertise. Call 1-800-222-1222 or download their app at

This article was originally published on