As your young baby grows, you will need to start poison-proofing your house.  Children explore by putting things in their mouths, which puts them at risk of poisoning. Don’t leave poisons where your child can reach them.  

If you are concerned a child has taken, or come into contact (on their skin, in their eyes) with household cleaners, pills or other poisons, urgently ring the National Poisons Centre phone number: 0800 POISON (0800 764 766), the accident and emergency department or your doctor.

Ways to help protect your child from poisoning

Keep all household detergents, washing powders, cleaning products, medicines, perfumes and garden poisons out of reach.  A high lockable cupboard that your child can’t reach is a good option.   Encourage others to keep pills and poisons out of reach too.

Other things you can do:

  • Use safety catches on cupboards.

  • Close a container containing a poison straight after using it and lock it away.

  • Never store poison in a soft-drink bottle.

  • Check that poisons have child-resistant tops if possible. Ask your pharmacist for child-resistant tops on your medicines.

  • If you keep any medicine in the fridge, keep it out of reach and out of sight.

  • Put dishwasher powder or liquid into the machine only when you’re going to use it. Dishwasher powder and liquid is dangerous; it burns the throat and gullet.

  • Keep the dishwasher door shut and don’t leave undissolved detergent in the machine.

  • Check the paint on older furniture, toys and houses. If the paint is lead-based, it can poison babies and young children. Refer to your Well Child/Tamariki Ora Health Book for more information.

  • Remove poisonous plants from the garden and the house. Ask Plunket for a list of common poisonous plants.

  • Teach your child not to put anything in their mouth unless you’ve said it’s OK. A poster and list of poisonous plants can be found at http://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/publications/factsheets/poisonous-plants

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If your child is sick please call Healthline, 0800 611 116, New Zealand's 24-hour telephone health advice service. All calls are answered by registered nurses.
In an emergency phone 111.
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