pictures of pills, cleaning supplies and a poisonous plant.

Poison Control

COVID-19 and Poison Prevention: Staying Safe While Staying Home

During the COVID-19 outbreak, families are together at home and are using more cleaning products and medicines. This puts people at an increased risk of a medication error or unintentional overdose.

Do not ingest or inject Lysol or any other disinfectant as a treatment for COVID-19. Household disinfectants are poisonous and can cause serious harm or even death if swallowed or injected.

Also, do not use products or medicines promoted as "anti-COVID-19" unless approved by your health care provider. Some unapproved products have led to serious illness and death. The Poison Control Center can answer your questions about the safe use of products, medicines and other poisons.

A poison is anything that can make you sick or kill you if you eat it, drink it, breath it in, get it on your skin or get it in your eyes.

If someone has been potentially exposed to a poison and is awake and alert, you should call the NYC Poison Control Center immediately, even if there are no symptoms of poisoning. For ingested poisons, do not try to make the person throw up. If the person is unconscious, convulsing, having seizures or having trouble breathing, call 911.

NYC Poison Control Center

The Poison Control Center is available 24/7 and has translation services in more than 150 languages. All calls are free and confidential. Registered pharmacists and nurses certified in poison information can provide treatment advice and information about potential poisons and medicine safety. When you call the center, they will ask you:

  • Your name and the name of the person poisoned
  • The telephone number you are calling from
  • The age and weight of the person poisoned
  • The name and amount of the product or substance involved
  • How long ago the poisoning happened
  • Any symptoms the poisoned person is having

To contact the NYC Poison Control Center, call 212-POISONS (212-764-7667).

Ingestion (swallowing) is the most common way that poisonings happen. Poisonings can also happen through inhalation, dermal (on the skin contact), or ocular (in the eyes). Learn more about common poisons and the City’s resources to help you be safe:

Community-based organizations (or individuals) can request free multilingual poison prevention and medicine safety materials or workshops through our Community Education Training Programs.

Medical professionals can also learn more about medical toxicology through the Visiting Resident Toxicology Rotation at the NYC Poison Control Center or through joining our monthly Consultants' Conference and Grand Rounds presentations.

Additional Resources

More Information