Child poisoning prevention
Why focus on child poisoning? No young child has died from poisoning in recent years. Poisoning, however, is the second leading cause of injury hospital admissions for those aged 0-4 years (688 admissions in 2010/11). As stated in Lesson 1, Introduction to Child Injury Prevention, these admissions are just the tip of the iceberg as most of these children are only seen in the emergency room or at a clinic, and are not admitted to hospital.
Childhood poisoning is preventable.
The images and messages depicted are the most common ways that children 0-6 are injured from poisoning. Visit the Images section for each topic to view and download the images with their corresponding messages.
How to use the images?
These images can be useful in starting discussion about what caregivers know about how to prevent injury and to problem-solve around the barriers they encounter in keeping their children safe. The images can also be integrated into other resources that you create, such as posters, calendars, displays, etc.
Program examples and evaluation tool
These poisoning examples are based on best practice and share activities that groups have done or could undertake.
The following documents are available for download:
Supplementary messages and resources
- Medication is the leading cause of poisoning in children. Even small amounts of adult medication can be fatal to your child.
- Children’s vitamins look like candy but are harmful if too many are taken. Teach children that any medication is not candy.
- Other causes of poisoning are household cleaners and personal care products such as mouthwash or nail polish
- Many children have swallowed poisonous products that were not stored properly or were taken out of their original container.
For additional messaging and information visit the Poison Prevention section of the Parachute website.
- Parachute's poison prevention information
- Child Safety Link, Helping you keep families safe from unintentional poisonings
- Health Canada has two publications Is Your Child Safe? A guide for parents and caregivers, and Safety with Radar is an Activity Guide for children. You can find these online (and can order multiple copies):
For ideas on how to develop “look alike” poison displays, check out these websites:
Public Health Agency of Canada analysis of 2009 mortality data from Statistics Canada and 2010/11 hospitalization data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information. (This is the most recent data available.)