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Babysitter's Guide to Poison Prevention

Utah statistics reveal that approximately 60% of poisonings occur in children less than 6 years of age. Therefore, educating caregivers is a key component in preventing a poison exposure. Babysitting in someone else’s home may pose unique problems with having less control over storage of harmful substances. Babysitters may not be aware of the potential poison hazards lurking in the environment where they are responsible for the safety of children.

The goal of this lesson is to teach babysitters or future babysitters how children can get poisoned, what types of poisons exist, how to prevent poisonings, and what to do if a poisoning occurs.

For additional info on our education program, contact Sherrie Pace.

Lesson Plan Overview

Learning Objectives

Participants will be able to:

  • list at least one potential poison in each of the five listed rooms of the home.
  • identify two poison prevention strategies.
  • relate two reasons why children under the age of 6 are at an increased risk for poisoning.
  • discuss several ways to respond to common poisoning scenario’s that could arise.
  • explain what to do if a poison is swallowed.


  • PowerPoint presentation or overhead slides (optional); download as ppt file,  download as pdf file.
  • Copies of the Name Game grid for all participants (located in the appendix)
  • Copy of Look-alike flyer showing cleaner & blue sports drink, apple juice & pine cleaner, fingernail polish remover & juice of the same color, medicine & candy, etc.
  • Video Unintentional Poisoning: Prevent React (optional), runtime: 15:44. This can be obtained by calling Utah Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222.
  • Copy of Poison Scenarios
  • Copy of “Be on the Safe Side” handout for each student
  • Copy of the role-play activity
  • Copy of Break the Code activity for all participants
  • Magnets and telephone stickers (order form)
  • Babysitter's Guide brochure
  • Copy of Children’s Worksheets for all participants (optional)
  • Copy of Certificate of Completion for each student (optional)

Note: Materials and instructions for each item can be found in the appendices of the full lesson plan.

Content Outline

  1. Introduction
    1. Introduce self
    2. Explain purpose
  2. Ice Breaker/Game
    1. Poison Name game
  3. Definitions and Statistics
    1. What is a poison?
    2. The poison problem
  4. Common Substances
    1. Children under 6 years of age
    2. Look-alike activity
  5. Children are more likely to be Poisoned
    1. Stages of development
    2. Risk factors
  6. Video: Unintentional Poisoning: Prevent, React (Optional)
  7. Poison Scenario Activity
  8. Keep Children Safe from Poisons
    1. Babysitter's Guide brochure
    2. Be on the safe side checklist and emergency information
  9. If Someone is Poisoned
    1. First-Aid for Poisoning
    2. Calling poison control role play activity
  10. Conclusion
    1. Break the Code activity
    2. Magnets and Babysitter Brochure
    3. Worksheets activities for the children they babysit
    4. Certificate of Completion