A Look at Common Household Poisons and How to Store Them Safely


Countless children are rushed to the emergency room each year because they accidentally ingest toxic substances. Unfortunately, the typical American home contains dozens of products that could be potentially lethal to children, from medications to personal products. Hospitals across the country urge parents to walk through their home to look for common household poisons and to take steps to keep them out of the reach of children.


Medications are commonly overlooked as being potential sources of childhood poisoning . Yet, children who access medications and swallow them risk a life-threatening overdose unless they receive immediate care at an emergency room. Parents should avoid keeping medications in a medicine cabinet because teenagers can easily access them and young children can climb on the toilet or vanity to reach them. Instead, keep medications in a locked area.

Cleaning Products

Cleaning products, such as furniture polish, bleach-based spray, and toilet bowl cleaners are commonly stored in a cabinet underneath the bathroom or kitchen sink. Since these cabinets are close to the floor, it’s far too easy for young children to access them. Instead, parents should store cleaning products on a high shelf that children cannot access by climbing furniture or objects.

Personal Products

Likewise, personal products should be kept out of reach of children. There are many personal products that can pose a safety hazard to kids, including mouthwash, artificial nail removers, perfume, and topical analgesics.

Household Plants

Did you know that accidental ingestion of toxic household plants is a common reason for emergency room visits among young children? Some parts of certain plants contain toxic substances, such as oxalate crystals. If you have young children, it’s best to keep certain plants out of your home, including those in the poinsettia, philodendron, cactus, and tomato family.

If you or a family member may have accidentally ingested a toxic substance, the emergency room physicians of Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center are standing by to help. The Emergency Department at our community hospital includes the area’s only Level II Trauma Center. If you live in the Thousand Oaks area and you wish to learn more about our emergency room or other services, call our Consult-A-Nurse referral line at (805) 497-2727.