Poison Prevention Tips: A Guide for Older Adults

Poison prevention tips

  • Keep all medicines out of sight and out of reach of grandchildren.
  • Don’t take medications in the dark! Always use adequate lighting when reading prescription labels to prevent taking the wrong medication.
  • Wear glasses or contact lenses when taking medication to ensure dosing accuracy.
  • Read all medication labels twice as a safety precaution and use a magnifying glass when necessary.
  • Ask your pharmacist any questions that you have regarding your prescriptions or over-the-counter products.
  • If you are hearing impaired, ask clinicians to speak slowly and to repeat information when needed.
  • Store all personal care items separately from household items, and store all topical products separately from oral care products.
  • Never mix any household, automotive or garden products together as dangerous fumes may result.
  • When using these products, open windows and doors, use fans, and wear gloves to protect your hands.
  • Have professional maintenance checks done twice a year on oil and gas heating systems in your home.
  • Check and clean your fireplace once a year.
  • Install carbon monoxide and smoke detectors and change batteries at least once a year.

Common poisons in the home

Use and store these products carefully!

  • Medications
  • Household cleaners
  • Toiletries/cosmetics
  • Chemicals
  • Ant and mouse poisons
  • Plants
  • Antifreeze and windshield washer fluid

The best way to be prepared for poison emergencies is by programming the Poison Help number into your phone, 1-800-222-1222, and posting it somewhere visible in your home.

This information is also available in a downloadable format.