A poison is any substance that if taken in or applied to skin or eyes is dangerous to health or life. Almost anything, such as a medicine, chemical, plant, hazardous creature can be a poison.

Accidental exposure of children under six years old to poisons is a very real problem in New Zealand, with 20% of families with pre-school age children experiencing a poisoning every year. Adults and teenagers can also be poisoned through accidental exposure, mishandling of chemicals or inappropriate use of medications.

Prevention education is a valuable tool to reduce the likelihood of these poisonings occurring.

University of Otago NZ National Poisons Centre

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