An official website of the United States government.

News Releases from Region 01

Protect Your Family From Accidental Poisonings

Contact Information: 
Press Office

By:          Alexandra Dunn, Regional Administrator
                U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, New England Region

The US Government publicizes National Poison Prevention Week during the third full week of March every year. This year, it will be observed from March 18-24. Poison Prevention Week is a great time for parents to be aware of how to prevent children from accidental poisoning by household products.

One of the things that all parents know is, little kids can move fast and young children frequently put their hands in their mouth. Kids are always curious to explore their world. For this reason, EPA encourages parents and care givers to always keep potentially harmful products in a high cabinet – well out of the reach of children.

About every 15 seconds, U.S. poison control centers receive a call about an accidental poisoning. Data from the National Safety Council indicate that more than one million poisoning incidents each year involve children under six years of age, swallowing common household items like drugs, vitamins, cosmetics and personal care, pesticides and cleaning products.

National Poison Prevention Week was first authorized by Congress in 1961 with the theme, "Children Act Fast...So Do Poisons!" Many poisonings occur when adults are distracted for just a few moments by the telephone or doorbell. That's why locking up chemical products is so important.

Besides keeping potentially dangerous household products out of reach from kids and pets, you can also consider using safer alternatives. EPA's "Safer Choice" label is designed to help you easily identify cleaning and other household products that are made with ingredients that are safer for children, people and the environment. Nearly 2,400 products have earned the right to carry the logo. They're available in local grocery stores and hardware stores, and include cleaners for use at home, offices, schools, hotels and sports venues.

So please remember, during Poison Prevention Week, and all through the year: Keep potentially harmful household products like medicines, cleaning products, pesticides and cosmetics well out of reach of your children and pets so accidental poisonings can be prevented. And, consider learning about using products that have earned an EPA Safer Choice logo.

More information: EPA's Website lists all the products that carry the Safer Choice label (