Home / Poisonings / Poisonings


Childhood Poisoning Facts

A. Over 2 million human poison exposures are reported to poison control centers nationwide on an annual basis.

B. Over 50% of poison exposures occur in children less than 6 years of age.

C. Every 30 seconds a child is poisoned in the United States.

D. Swallowing a poison is the most common way a child is exposed.

E. Less than 3% of all poison fatalities every year now occur in children less than 6 years of age; however, on average, 30 children in this age group still die every year as a result of poisonings.

F. Carbon monoxide exposure is the most common reason for poisoning deaths in young children.

G. Adolescent poisonings primarily involve intentional/suicidal ingestions.

H. Over 65% of calls to poison control centers involve children and adolescents.

I. Nearly 75% of all poison exposures can be managed in a non-health care facility (e.g., at home) as long as a poison center is consulted.

J. Most common pharmaceutical ingestions in young children include pain relievers (e.g., Tylenol) and cough and cold preparations.

K. Most common non-pharmaceutical ingestions in young children include cosmetics/personal care products and cleaning substances.

L. The 3 most common swallowed plants include the peace lily, the Philodendron and the poinsettia.

M. The most common reasons for therapeutic errors (when a medicine is given incorrectly) in children less than 6 years old include:
1. Accidentally given medication twice

2. Incorrect dose given

3. Wrong medication given

N. 1-800-222-1222 is the nationwide toll-free number that will directly connect you with your regional poison control center.  Also, you can click on the map of the US to your right to give you information on your poison control center.