This week is Poison Prevention Week. Millions of Americans are unintentionally poisoned every year, and children under the age of six are at the greatest risk. According to the New York State Department Of Health, people should keep all poisons, including medications, cosmetics, household cleaners and chemicals, plants and other poisonous substances out of the reach of children.

This week is Poison Prevention Week. Millions of Americans are unintentionally poisoned every year, and children under the age of six are at the greatest risk. According to the New York State Department Of Health, people should keep all poisons, including medications, cosmetics, household cleaners and chemicals, plants and other poisonous substances out of the reach of children.

1 Poison proofing — Keeping children away from medicine and other toxins can help prevent childhood poisonings. Pills should be kept in their original container. Never tell children that medicine is candy. Always refer to medicine as "medicine." Let your child know what it is for and the danger that comes with it when it is improperly used. Make sure to read labels carefully before giving your child any medicine.

2 Keep a lid on it — Always close the container as soon as you have finished using it. It is important to properly secure the child-resistant packaging, and put it away immediately in a place where children can't reach it. Never flush unwanted medications or pour them down the drain. Instead, crush pills before you throw them in the garbage and mix them into old coffee grounds, sand, or kitty litter.

3 Off limits areas — The kitchen and bathroom are unsafe areas. Medicines should never be stored in the bathroom. A bathroom's warm, moist environment tends to cause changes or disintegration of the product. Any cabinet containing a potentially poisonous item should be locked.

4 Mother Nature’s weapon — Although most houseplants are not poisonous, some are. To be on the safe side, keep houseplants out of the reach of young children.   

5 Lock it up — Be sure to check garages and utility rooms for potential poison hazards. Anti-freeze, windshield washing fluid, and other products should be stored out of children's reach in a locked cabinet. Childproof safety latches can be purchased at your local hardware store.

If you suspect poisoning, call a poison control center at (800) 222-1222 and have the following information ready: Condition, age and weight of the patient; Product container or bottle that caused the poisoning; Time that the poisoning occurred; and your name and telephone number.

For more information, visit New York State Department of Health Web site at www.health.ny.gov.