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Poison Center Helpline 1-800-222-1222


The Illinois Poison Center has touched countless lives. We are honored to hear from clinicians, parents and educators about the positive impact IPC has on so many people—patients, students and individuals calling for themselves or their loved ones. Click here if you'd like to share your IPC experience.


Dishwasher Pod 

“My 3-year-old daughter found a dishwasher pod that must have fallen on the floor. I heard her gasp and I asked her if she was okay. She immediately started crying and when I ran to her I saw her face, clothes and the floor covered with blue goo. I saw blue goo all around her mouth and nose and was unsure of how much she ingested. I tried to swipe her mouth out and to make her vomit.

Although she seemed fine, she would suddenly burst into tears. Not sure what to do, I searched the internet for toddler and dishwasher pods and the Illinois Poison Center popped up. I called and within 30 seconds I was on the phone with a Certified Specialist in Poison Information (CSPI). I told her the situation and that I was trying to make my daughter vomit and the CSPI told me not to because it could cause more trauma.

Instead, the CSPI told me to monitor my daughter, gave me a list of items to look out for and told me to call back in an hour. My daughter seemed fine and did not have any side effects. I thanked the CSPI for all her help while I cried. The CSPI reassured me I was not the only mom to call about this product and reminded me that children are curious. The CSPI even called me several hours later to check on my child one last time before she ended her shift.” — Mariza

Over-the-Counter Medicine

“While visiting a family member in Illinois, my toddler came out of their kitchen, handed me a bottle of over–the-counter sleep medication and said, “mama, spicy!” The lid was off and there were gel pills that would have been easy to swallow. I had no idea if, or how much, he had swallowed.

I called the Illinois Poison Center. They took down our information and asked questions regarding his weight and behavior. They let me know what it would look like if he had taken a normal dose and what it would look like if he had too much. I knew what to watch for and was able to keep an eye on him. The Illinois Poison Center followed up with me throughout the day and, remembering a toddler has a naptime, let me know that he would not have to skip his nap because we would see signs of an overdose before then.

I was reassured and it was so nice to have a calm, confident and non-judgmental person walk us through this situation. Otherwise, given my son is not vaccinated against COVID-19, I might have kept him home, searched the internet, skipped his nap and spent the day stressed out about not going to the emergency department or, alternatively, stressed out about potentially exposing him to COVID-19 by taking him to the emergency department.

I want to thank the Illinois Poison Center for being so amazing. All my social media parenting groups are filled with stories about how amazing the Illinois Poison Center is and the wonderful kind people who help us when we are panicking and scared. I appreciate the Illinois Poison Center so much and feel so lucky that it was there for me.” — R. Thompson

Discover More

Poison Center HelplineCalls are free and confidential.

  1. In Case of Emergency

    Call 911 if someone is unconscious or is having difficulty breathing.

  2. Remain Calm

    Most poison emergencies can be resolved quickly over the phone.

  3. Call the Helpline

    Call 1-800-222-1222 if you are concerned that you or someone else has been exposed to a potentially harmful substance.