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Poison prevention

A poison is any substance that can cause harmful effects in the body. Millions of people are unintentionally poisoned every year, and children under six are at the greatest risk.

Most dangerous poisons

  • Medicines
  • Cleaning products
  • Antifreeze
  • Windshield washer solution
  • Hydrocarbons: furniture polish, lighter fluid, lamp oil, kerosene, turpentine, paint thinner
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Pesticides

Important checklist for a poison-proof home

  • Keep all household poisons and medicines in their original, labeled, child-resistant containers.
  • Lock poisons and medicines out of the reach and sight of small children.
  • To avoid confusion, do not refer to medications as "candy" or take them in front of children.
  • Never leave children alone with household chemicals or medications.
  • Return household and chemical products to safe storage immediately after use.
  • Know which plants in and around your home are poisonous, and keep them away from children.
  • Take the time to teach children about poisonous substances.
  • Keep the telephone number of your emergency call centre or local poison control centre on or near your telephone.

What to do if a poisoning occurs

  • Stay calm.
  • If the person is unconscious, non-responsive or convulsing, immediately call 9-1-1.
  • If the person is conscious and responsive call your local poison control centre. They are qualified to handle all inquiries. In Calgary, call the Poison Centre at 1-800-332-1414.
  • Follow the instructions that the poison control centre gives you.
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