Teaching Children

Although it is important to teach children about poison safety, adults must realize that they may not always practice what they learn when presented with a real-life situation.

Educational programs for children should be age-specific and should include sending educational materials home to parents and caregivers who can ultimately make the child's environment safer.

The Maryland Poison Center (MPC) welcomes teachers, child care providers, scout leaders, EMS providers, and other community members to use the materials below to develop a poison safety lesson for children. The information is meant to supplement the existing school curriculum, not replace it.

Poison safety can be taught at any time of the year. The MPC wants to support teachers with resources when they teach topics including, but not limited to:

  • First aid
  • Personal safety
  • Medicine safety
  • Home safety

Teacher's Resource Kit:

Teacher Resource Kit

Available through our online store, the teacher’s resource kit contains outlines for lessons and classroom activities that can be conducted with children in grades pre-k though 5. Each lesson identifies the grade level for which it is appropriate. Teachers can pick and choose the lessons they wish to present as they tie into their curriculum. Also included are activity sheets, a parent letter, a home safety checklist, and a certificate of achievement.

If you are an educator or other professional in the state of Maryland who is planning to conduct a children’s poison safety program, please contact Emily Paterson to receive educational materials that you can send home with each child in the class.

Middle School Medicine Safety Resource:

The MPC is promoting the OTC Medicine Safety program developed by Scholastic Books and Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. in partnership with the American Association of Poison Control Centers. The medicine safety curriculum was developed for fifth through eighth graders in response to national research that showed that the vast majority of children begin to self-medicate at this age. Education regarding medicine safety could prevent incidents of poisoning in this age group.

The lessons include key medicine safety messages such as:

  • Always ask an adult before taking an over-the-counter (OTC) medicine
  • How to use medicine dosing devices
  • Understanding drug labels
  • When to call a poison center

The curriculum is available online at www.ymiclassroom.com/otcmedsafety. Teachers using the curriculum are encouraged to contact their local poison center for educational materials to send home with the students. In the state of Maryland, teachers should contact Emily Paterson for these materials.