How to Poison Proof Your Home

Jill Holtz

December 3, 2015


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We often don’t realise exactly how many items exist in our houses that can be potentially harmful to children. The Poisons Information Centre of Ireland gives the following advice on How To Poison Proof Your Home:

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The signs and symptoms of poisoning can be delayed so do always seek advice, if you are worried.

The Poisons Information Centre in Ireland can be contacted on (01) 809 2166 and you can visit

What is a poison?

A poison is any substance that can cause harm if it is swallowed, inhaled, injected or absorbed through the skin or eye.

Poisoning can occur with medicines, household products, cosmetics, plants, garden products, farming and industrial chemicals and animals (e.g. wasp stings).

Poisons and Children

  • household detergents dreamstime_xs_31209734Poisoning is most likely to happen to children aged 1- 4 years old.
  • Most incidents take place in the child’s home, the home of a grandparent or a childminder, or at crèche or school.
  • Children are most likely to come in contact with poisons during the afternoon, at the weekend and during school holidays.
  • Accidental poisoning can be easily prevented by keeping harmful substances out of reach and out of sight of children.

Check your home to make sure all poisons are stored safely and out of children’s reach.

Poisons in the Kitchen

Detergents, dishwasher tablets, bleach, drain cleaners, oven cleaners, polish, disinfectant, liquigel capsules, white spirit, coins and batteries.

Poisins in the Bathroom

Medicines, vitamins, iron tablets, bleach, shower cleaner, toilet cleaner, cosmetics, toiletries, shower gel, shampoo, toothpaste and mouthwash.

Poisons in the Bedroom

Medicines, perfume, aftershave, nail polish remover, essential oils, herbal remedies and false teeth cleaners.

Poisons in Your Handbags / Briefcases

Medicines, coins, alcohol hand gel, chewing gum and cigarettes.

Poisins in the Shed or Garage

Petrol, paraffin, car products, insect sprays or powders, rat poison, white spirit, glue, paint and BBQ fluid.

Poisins in the Garden

Berries, plants, flowers, mushrooms, slug killer, plant food and weedkiller.


  • poisonUse containers with child-resistant caps. These caps are child-resistant but be aware they are not childproof!
  • Keep chemicals and medicines out of reach and out of sight of children.
  • Keep all products in their original containers.
  • Use childproof locks on cupboards.
  • Read medicine labels carefully to avoid mistakes.
  • Talk with your GP or pharmacist if you have any questions.
  • Ask advice from staff in your garden centre when buying plants.
  • Replace all lids on products.


  • Do not leave containers open when using them.
  • Do not transfer products from their original containers. Children who see liquid in a soft-drink bottle will think they can drink it.
  • Do not remove labels from medicines or products. The label can contain important information.
  • Do not put tablets into another container such as a purse or envelope.
  • Do not refer to medicine or tablets as sweets.
  • Do not take your medicine in front of children as they often copy adults.

Information provided by The National Poisons Information Centre, Beaumont Hospital, Dublin, Ireland.

poison centre ireland

The National Poisons Information Centre is a very useful resource if you ever need information about poisoning accidents in the home.

Phone us on 01 8092166 for fast, expert advice if you think your child has been poisoned. You can call us 7 days a week.

Follow us on facebook at for regular tips on poison prevention. Questions about poisoning cannot be answered on this page, but we are always happy to answer your concerns over the phone.

Save our number now 01 8092166.

Over to you now. When was the last time you “poison proofed” your house? Tell us in the comments below.





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