In the United States, there are two children that die and more than 300 children under the age of 19 that are treated in emergency rooms everyday due to unintentional poisoning. While many of the chemicals used in the home are labeled with clear warning labels, there are everyday household items without labels that can pose a serious hazard to children as well. Beware of these common household items and ensure they are secure in your home.

Cosmetics and Personal Care

According to a 2016 report from the National Capital Poison Center, cosmetics and personal care products are the number one culprits of unintentional poisoning of children. Keep your makeup, skin-care and hair-care products, nail polish remover, and other toiletries in a cabinet or drawer where your child can’t reach them. Take extra precaution and add child locks to any cabinets they may be able to access.


All medication and pharmaceuticals, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and supplements should be stored in their original container, out of reach of your child. Again, take extra precaution and add child locks to any cabinets they may be able to access. There is no such thing as a 100% child-proof lock or container, so be sure to keep these out of reach and dispose of unused, unneeded, or expired medication safely. You can do this by mixing them with coffee ground or kitty litter or turn them in at a local take-back program.

Household Cleaners

Bleach and drain cleaner are two of the most common household cleaners that can be fatal to children should they gain access to them. All household cleaners, including laundry and dishwasher detergent, should be stored in a cabinet with a lock or on a high shelf. While it might be more convenient to keep these close to or under the sink, these products contain an abundance of chemicals that can easily poison your child should they come across it. Also, keep them in their original containers, which often contain a childproof closure.

Topical Preparations

Items such as diaper rash creams, lotions, acne medications, camphor-based ointments like calamine – all of these products are poisonous if they are ingested. After every use of these items, ensure you are storing them where they cannot be reached by your child. Additionally, after every diaper change, put your diaper changing products out of your child’s reach.

Toys and Small Items

Toys with batteries, silica gel packets found inside shoe boxes, holiday decorations, coins, bubbles, and arts and crafts are just a selection of items that can be poisonous to your child. Supervise them when they are using arts and craft supplies and keep away batteries and small magnets.