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Poison Prevention Tips for Fall

Kids are back in school. Cold and flu season is here.

Holidays are just around the corner. Here are some tips to help you prevent poisonings during this busy time of year.

Back to School and Art Supplies

  • School staff and parents should be familiar with the school’s medication policy.
  • Do not send medication in your child’s sports bag or lunch box. Giving your child control of the medication puts them and other children at risk.
  • Teach students to never take medications from other children and never share pills.
  • Children often use art products(e.g., glue, paint, ink) at home, school, and day care. These art products are mixtures of chemicals. Most products on the market today are non-toxic, however, some products can be dangerous if not used correctly. Make sure children use art products safely by reading labels carefully, following the directions for safe use and disposal, and cleaning up tables, desks, and counters.
  • Call the Missouri Poison Center, 1-800-222-1222, if you have a question about an art product that a child has put into their mouth, or is splashed into the eyes or on the skin.

Cough and Cold Medicines

  • Ingredients in cough and cold medicines are safe when dosed properly. Use the measuring device that comes
  • with the medicine, or an accurate device to measure medicine doses. Follow instructions on the label.
  • Check the active ingredients section on the DRUG FACTS section of the label.
  • Do not use two medicines at the same time that contain the same or similar ingredients.
  • Never give medicine to a child that is intended for adult use.
  • Never use cough and cold products to make a child sleepy.


  • Many berries in the fall have bright colors that attract children such as purple, orange, and red. Some berries that can harm people do not harm birds and other animals.
  • Know the names of the plants in and around your yard. If you do not know the name of a plant, have it identified at a nursery, garden center or botanical garden.
  • If you think someone ate berries or part of a plant, call the Missouri Poison Center, 1-800-222-1222 for immediate help.


Only experts can tell poisonous mushrooms apart from safe mushrooms. Even people who have been picking mushrooms for years have made mistakes. Do NOT eat wild mushrooms. Eating even a few bites of certain mushrooms can cause a range of symptoms from nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea to severe kidney and liver damage.

Carbon Monoxide (CO)

Fall is usually the time we turn on heaters and generators. Make sure your heating system is running smoothly and the carbon monoxide detector has fresh batteries.

For more information on Carbon Monoxide, click here.

Poison Prevention Tips for Fall PDF
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