LHSC offers tips to keep children safe from poisoning

March 21, 2017

The Public Health Agency of Canada estimates an average of three deaths each year in Canada from unintentional poisoning for children 14 years and younger. There are  900 hospitalizations with serious injuries in young children. Nearly half of all poisonings occur in children younger than six years of age and most happen in the home. 

To recognize National Poison Prevention Week, London Health Sciences Centre’s Trauma Program is sharing important tips to help keep our children safe from harm.

“Supervision is the best way to keep your child safe,” says Jane Edwards, injury prevention specialist, LHSC. “Medications, household cleaners and personal care products such as nail polish and mouthwash may be accessible to children if they are not properly stores or if the products are taken out of their original containers.”

Laundry detergent packets

Children easily mistake laundry detergent packets as food or toys because of their size and colouring and when ingested can cause nausea and vomiting, coughing or choking and stomach pain. A laundry detergent packet can also burst in a child's hand with only a small amount of pressure which can cause rashes or eye irritation. 

Prevent children from accessing laundry detergent packets by keeping them out of sight and reach of children.


Medicine, cleaning products and other poisons need to be locked in a high place and out of child’s reach:

  • Keep all medication in original child-resistant packaging
  • Never refer to medicine as candy
  • Always read the label and check the dosage each time you give or take medicine
  • When visitors come to your home, make sure they keep their purses, bags, etc. out of your child's reach