Poison Prevention and Safety:  Lesson Plans for Educators

A poisoning can happen to anyone at anytime – this is why the New Mexico Poison Center makes a variety of poison prevention programs available to the public.  Each of the lesson plans below comes fully equipped with the materials necessary to give an engaging presentation.

We encourage fellow advocates and community educators to download presentation materials by following the links below.  If you choose to present a program, please fill out the Presentation Information Form and the Participant Sign - In Sheet (the first name of the child is sufficient).  In addition, please have the site contact fill out a Program Evaluation Form for children audiences; for adult audiences please have every participant fill out an evaluation form.  

The aforementioned documentation is crucial in the improvement of our educational programs and materials and meeting the public's needs.  Please forward all forms to Jacqueline Kakos, Health Educator:  505-272-5892 (fax), jkakos@salud.unm.edu (e - mail) or MSC 09 5080 1 University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, N.M. 87131 (physical address).

To request additional presentation materials, such as telephone stickers or refrigerator magnets, submit a Materials Order Form Online or call 1-800-222-1222.  Please allow two weeks to process.

You may also request a presentation to be given by a Poison Center staff member by calling 505-272-1364 or emailing jkakos@salud.unm.edu.

Spike Sticker

Quills Up – Stay Away! An educational program for pre-school kids

Young children are at greatest risk for unintentional poisonings.  That’s why the American Association of Poison Control Centers created the "Quills Up – Stay Away!" program featuring Spike, the porcupine puppet.  The program, designed for preschool children, makes it easy and fun to teach this important topic.  All materials available on the Illinois Poison Center Web site.

Poison Patrol Program - An educational program for elementary-aged children

This fun and educational program teaches elementary-aged children about the dangers of poisons and how to protect themselves from becoming poisoned.  This program is offered in two versions:  an abbreviated version for community educators and an extended version for elementary educators.

OTC Literacy Program - An educational program for sixth graders

Research shows us that the majority of children begin to self - medicate at 11 years of age.  In an effort to address medication misuse and abuse Scholastic Books, the American Association of Poison Control Centers and McNeil Consumer Healthcare developed the OTC Literacy Program.  This program comes complete with lesson modules, activities and take - home handouts for the family.

Generation Rx - Preventing the Misuse and Abuse of Prescription Medication

A common misconception among adolescents is that prescription medications are safe to experiment with since they are legal; however this could not be further from the truth.  Prescription medications can be very dangerous to one's health if used in the wrong way, by the wrong person or in the wrong amount.

Dr. Megan Thompson at the University of New Mexico's College of Pharmacy created this presentation in partnership with the Cardinal Health Foundation.  The PowerPoint presentation addresses the growing epidemic of prescription drug abuse among adolescents. 

The presentation is easy to follow with instructional notes for educators that are included below the slides.  Embedded within the presentation is an interactive exercise in which audience members are asked to discuss a case report.

Visit the Cardinal Health Generation Rx Web site to download free, additional educational materials for all age groups.

Safe Meds / Safe Disposal for Teens

This three - part program developed by the Upstate NY Poison Center is designed to teach teenagers how to use medicine safely and how to safely get rid of medicines that have expired or are no longer being used. Pharmacists, pharmacy students and other educators can easily present this program to their local teen communities by following instructions below. Enjoy!

  1. Provide a brief introduction to medication safety / disposal.
  3. Show all three of the following videos which make up the program:

        3. Provide evaluation tools:

Poison Prevention for Caregivers of Small Children - An educational program for parents, grandparents, babysitters & professionals

This program teaches caregivers of small children how to create a poison-safe environment for children to learn and play in.  The program can be adapted to educate parents, babysitters or professional caregivers.  First aid instruction is also included should a poisoning occur.

Poison Control In Action – An educational program for adults

Most people think of children when they think of poisoning.  However, while children are more often exposed to poisons, adults suffer more serious poisoning injuries and deaths.  That’s why the American Association of Poison Control Centers created "Poison Control In Action", to teach adults valuable information about poison prevention and what to do in a poison emergency.

Taking Your Medicine Safely

The Taking Your Medicines Safely program was developed by the United States Health Resources and Services Administration and the Administration on Aging to promote medication safety and prevent medication - related poisonings among older adults.  This train - the - trainer program offers a leader guide on how to present the program as well as a number of additional educational materials.

Additional Resources

  • Danger Rangers is an award winning animated series that teaches children (pre - K through 3rd grade) positive role modeling and lifesaving problem solving skills in a variety of injury related areas.  Videos, activities, lesson plans and prevention tips are available.
  • Medicines In My Home  is a free multi-media program hosted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that teaches consumers of all ages about medication safety.
  • The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), created this Web site to educate adolescents (as well as their parents and teachers) on the science behind drug abuse.
  • The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy's Generation Rx Program provides resources about prescription drug abuse for communities, schools and colleges.  Free materials for all age groups are available.
  • UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Programs recently developed a "Synthetic Drug Training Package" equipped with a training guide, PowerPoint presentation and a handout.  This program trains health care practitioners from a variety of settings on the identification, physiological effects and the availability patterns of synthetic drugs, such as Spice and Bath Salts.  Strategies for communicating the dangers of synthetic drugs are also covered.
  • Drug Abuse Treatment Centers is a valuable resource for those in need of recovery services.