Child Safety Scotland



Crawling babies and toddlers tend to put everything into their mouths so they are at particular risk from poisoning. A substance that may cause harm when it is eaten, inhaled, or comes into contact with skin or eyes can poison a child. Pharmaceutical products such as pain killers are the number one case of poisoning to children. Other products that can cause harm are cleaning products and toiletries and many of these products on the market are brightly coloured and very fragrant and this unfortunately attracts a child to them.

Prevention methods


Household chemicals such as cleaning products and liquid laundry capsules should be stored out of sight and out of reach of young children. If necessary, cupboard locks can be fitted to low level cupboards and drawers. Always ensure that lids are properly closed and aim to buy products that have child resistant caps on them but remember this does not make them childproof.


Medicines should be kept out of sight and out of reach of children and ideally in a locked cabinet. Children should never be told that tablets are sweeties.

Be mindful of toiletries such as shampoo and shower gel as these items can often be appealing to young children because of their bright colours and fruity smells. Keep them out of reach of young children.

Cleaning products


Garden chemicals such as weed killers and pesticides should be locked away from children, ideally on a high shelf in a shed. Products should always be kept in their original containers and the manufacturer's instructions followed carefully, especially if they are not to be used when children are present.

Plants are generally harmless in the garden unless they are ingested. Some plants can also irritate your skin. Berries are attractive to young children so such plants should be avoided until a child is old enough to understand that they may be dangerous. Children need to be taught not to eat anything that they find outside unless you tell them it is safe to do so.


Visitors to your home should not leave their handbags lying where a child could look through them. Also, be extra vigilant when your child is visiting a friend or relative as their home may not be as safe as yours.

All products should be kept in their original containers and the labels should never be removed so you know exactly what the product is.