Skip to main content

Poison Prevention: Keeping Families Safe

Poisonings can occur at any age however children are at particular risk. UPCC statistics show that children under the age of 6 account for approximately 60 percent of poison exposures. It is important to recognize hazards that may poison or injure children and adults, understand prevention techniques, have knowledge of initial first aid, and learn how the Utah Poison Control Center can help.

The goal of this lesson is to increase awareness among adults 18 and older of potential poisoning risks and teach ways to prevent a poisoning from occurring in people of all ages, but especially in children.

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/areas 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.
  • explain the difference between “child-resistant” and “child-proof” as it relates to poisonings.
  • relate two questions the poison control specialist may ask you when you call.


  • (Optional) PowerPoint presentation or overhead slides; download as ppt file, or download as pdf file.
  • Copies of the Name Game grid for all participants
  • (Optional) small prize for the winner of the game
  • Look-a-like products (see appendix C for suggestions)
  • Magnets and telephone stickers (order form)
  • Household Guide to Poison Control handout for each participant
  • Pen or Pencil for each participant
  • Video: Unintentional Poisoning: Prevent, React, runtime 15 minutes. Available in English and Spanish at the UPCC 1-800-222-1222.

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. Utah Poison Control Center (UPCC)
    1. Mission Statement
    2. UPCC Help
  4. Definitions and Statistics
    1. What is a poison?
    2. Utah’s poison problem
    3. Age distribution
  5. Common Substances
    1. Children under age 6
    2. All ages
  6. When Do Poisonings Occur?
    1. When product is in use
    2. Peak age
  7. What Are These Poisons and What Should We Do About Them?
    1. Medicines and Vitamins
    2. Deadly in a Dose
    3. Household Products
    4. Cosmetics and Personal Care Products
    5. Topicals
    6. Pesticides and Car Care Products
    7. Miscellaneous Poisons
    8. Prevention Strategies
    9. Carbon Monoxide
  8. Why Are Children More Likely to be Poisoned?
    1. Stages of development
    2. Risk factors
  9. Adult Poisonings
    1. Not just a problem for children
  10. How Do We Respond to a Poisoning?
    1. Emergency action first aid tips
    2. Calling the UPCC
  11. Video: Unintentional Poisoning: Prevent, React
  12. Review
    1. Question/Answer Activity
    2. Assignment
  13. Conclusion
    1. Contact the UPCC
    2. Magnets and phone stickers