A poison is something that can hurt you or make you sick when it gets into your body. Poison can get into your body if you eat, drink, touch or smell something that is poisonous.

How do you know if something is poisonous? That is a very tricky question so no matter what, you should always ask a grown-up before putting anything into your mouth unless you are sure it is safe to eat or drink. Poisons can be found in all sorts of places like your garage or in any room in your home such as the kitchen, bathroom or basement. Poisons can be found outdoors or even in your mother's purse. Here are some tips to help give you an idea of what forms poisons can come in...

Examples of poisons that you can easily eat or drink would be:

  • Foods that are spoiled or have not been cooked properly, alcohol, medicine, household and garden products and certain plants, berries or mushrooms.

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Examples of poisons that you can smell or breathe-in would be:

  • Gases such as carbon monoxide from a car's exhaust pipe, carbon dioxide from sewers, chlorine from a pool, or fumes from household products like glue, paint, cleaners or even smoke from some types of drugs.

Examples of poisons that can enter your body by touch may come from:

  • Plants like poison ivy, poison oak, or poison sumac, plant fertilizers or pesticides. Some poisons can enter your body by bites or stings from insects, spiders, ticks, sea life such as jelly fish, sting rays, or sea anemones, as well as snakes and other animals. Medicines that are injected with a needle can also be harmful if too much is taken or if the wrong kind is used by mistake.

Here are some rules that will help you to stay safe from poisons:

  • If you don't know what something is, do not put it in your mouth. Always check with a grown-up first.
  • Never take medicine unless it is given to you by an adult. If you think you need medicine for any reason, check with an adult before you take the medicine because taking the wrong kind or taking too much can make you very sick.
  • Some plants, mushrooms and berries are poisonous. Ask an adult before you try to eat them.
  • DO NOT touch or play with spray cans or bottled chemicals. Always let an adult use these items.
  • STAY AWAY from household cleaning products, dish detergents or car washing items. If you need to clean something, have an adult supervise with the preparation of the cleaning solutions.
  • Never try to touch wild or unfamiliar animals. If you are bitten you can get rabies or may need to treat a snake bite! If you do get bitten by an animal, try to remember what it looked like and where you last saw it. Do not try to trap the animal because you could be hurt even more.

If you or someone you know gets into a poison, tell an adult right away. The grown-up should call a Poison Control Center. You can call the Poison Control Center for help too if no adult is around to help. The Poison Center can help with all poison emergency calls -- it doesn't even have to be a poison emergency. There is a National toll-free number, 1-800-222-1222 that will connect people all over the US to a nurse, pharmacist or other poison specialist. Over 80% of poison calls can be handled over the phone. The Poison Control Center number should be kept near a telephone in your house, if it isn't, please ask an adult in your home to show you where to find the number.







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