Approximately 50% of poison center cases involve children under the age of six. The following is a list of things that make this age group so vulnerable:

Natural Curiosity

Young children are naturally curious and typically learn by trying. New things may be explored by looking, touching, smelling, or tasting. It is the adult’s responsibility to make sure that items within their reach will not harm them.


Young children try their hardest to imitate the adults in their lives, but they are not always successful. Sometimes they will attempt to take medication on their own or mistake a household cleaner or alcoholic drink for soda or juice.

Improper Storage

Leaving products on the counter or table between uses will increase the likelihood that a child will get into it.

Lack of Supervision

Children will get into things they shouldn’t when an adult is not paying attention. This includes when adults are cooking, answering the door or phone, taking a shower, or visiting with friends.


Medicines and laundry pods can look like candy to young children. Liquid cleaners and chemicals can look like drinks.


Most poisonings are preventable! Here are simple steps to protect young children:

Lock medicines and household products in a safe place away from children. Placing items on high shelves is not enough. Children are great climbers!

Take medicines when or where children are not watching. Children learn by imitation.

Put the number for the Indiana Poison Center (IPC) on or near every telephone in the house: 1.800.222.1222. It is also a good idea to program it into every working cell phone.

Be sure babysitters and others caring for your children have the phone number posted in their homes.

The Indiana Poison Center (IPC) serves as both an emergency telephone service and an information resource center, with services available to the general public and health care professionals 24 hours a day, 365 days per year.

The IPC is the designated Regional Poison Information Center for Indiana and is certified by the AAPCC. It is a collaborative effort of the Indiana State Department of Health, Indiana University, Health and the Health Resources Services Administration. Services are free to the public and confidential.


IPC is located on the IU Health – Methodist Hospital campus in Indianapolis, IN

If you have (or think you have) a poison emergency, or would just like some information on poison prevent, please contact the Indiana Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222.

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