Tips for parents, caregivers to prevent child poisoning

March 20, 2023

EDMONTON — It’s Poison Prevention Week, and Alberta Health Services (AHS) is reminding Albertans how to keep kids safe and prevent poisonings.

Children are curious about the world around them. Their curiosity, smaller size and lower body weight, as well as the appealing taste of flavoured children’s medication or brightly coloured objects, such as laundry pods, can put them at risk for poisoning. 

Last year, the Poison & Drug Information Service (PADIS) received approximately 55 calls per day for poisonings. Forty percent of calls were for children up to five years of age. Many of these calls involved acetaminophen and ibuprofen. While these medicines are safe for treating common aches and pains, they can be harmful if taken incorrectly. 

In addition, household items — such as cleaners, personal care products, car supplies, batteries, medications and pesticides — can be poisonous if ingested or used incorrectly. Although we may not think of all these products as dangerous, they can cause poisoning and serious injury when misused. Other items — such as cannabis, e-cigarettes, hand sanitizers, bleach and laundry detergent pods — are items that can cause poisonings and harm.

There are things you can do as a parent or caregiver to help keep children safe:

For more information on preventing poisonings, visit Poison and Drug Information.

If you are concerned that someone has been poisoned, call 911 or PADIS at 1-800-332-1414.

AHS is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Our mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans. Our current focus is on reducing emergency department wait-times, improving Emergency Medical Services (EMS) response times, increasing access to surgeries, and improving patient flow.