Every year, thousands of children are poisoned in Québec by ingesting a toxic product, getting a toxic product in their eyes or on their skin, or inhaling toxic vapours.
Many household products and plants can be toxic to children (e.g., vitamins, drugs, cosmetics, cleaning products, cannabis and nicotine products, fuel, plants, mushrooms, pesticides, and personal care, car care, and renovation products).
Québec Poison Control Centre has published a number of poisoning prevention pamphlets. To learn more, visit their website:
Québec Poison Control Center
ciusss-capitalenationale.gouv.qc.ca/antipoison/ (Mostly in French)
Medications and toxic products: tips on poison prevention
- Keep toxic products, medications, and natural health products out of children’s sight and reach.
- Store these products in cabinets and drawers with safety latches or in places children cannot get into.
- Keep these products in their original containers with a childproof cap.
- Never transfer hazardous products to food containers (e.g., gasoline in a water bottle).
- Keep children away from ashtrays and glasses containing alcoholic beverages.
- Keep purses and other bags that may contain toxic products (e.g., cosmetics, drugs, hand sanitizers, nicotine products) out of reach of children.
- Carefully read the instructions before you give your child any medicine and measure out the exact dose. See your pharmacist if you need help.
- Never leave medication on the changing table or near the crib.
- Return expired medications to the pharmacy. This keeps them from accumulating at home and ensures they are not stored in unsafe locations or thrown out in the garbage.
Many indoor and outdoor plants have toxic leaves and fruits that can cause conditions such as skin irritation, swelling, trouble swallowing, dry mouth, diarrhea, vomiting, and hallucinations.
To prevent exposure to toxic plants, it’s worth checking to see if your indoor and outdoor plants are toxic. As soon as your child can crawl or walk, keep these plants out of her reach.
Keep plants in their original container so you can easily identify them later. If you don’t know the name of your plants, ask at a garden centre or florist. It may be useful to bring along some photos so they can help identify them.
Some outdoor mushrooms can cause poisoning. This can result in serious damage to a child’s liver and digestive system.
To prevent poisoning caused by outdoor mushrooms, it’s a good idea to pick or destroy them before children can find them. Since they grow quickly, be vigilant and keep a watchful eye out for them.