Skip to main content

Oregon State Flag An official website of the State of Oregon » Homepage

Protecting Children from Pesticides

Protecting Children from Pesticides 

Pesticides can be useful around your home and garden, but they also can be dangerous if used carelessly or if not stored properly and out of the reach of children. 

When the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency surveyed American households they found that:

• Almost half of all homes with children under the age of 5 had at least one pesticide stored in an unlocked cabinet within a child’s reach — that is, within 4 feet of the ground.

• About 75 percent of households without children under age 5 also stored pesticides in an unlocked cabinet within a child’s reach. 

• More than one in 10 pesticide poisonings happens in homes other than the child’s home

  • Teach children how to recognize and stay away from all poisonous materials, whether garden pesticides, household cleaners, or prescription drugs.
  • Always use household products in child-resistant. And use the packaging properly by closing the container tightly after you are done.
  • Put away pesticides immediately after use. If you are using a pesticide or other household chemical and are interrupted (perhaps by a phone call), stop to properly close the container and remove it from a child’s reach. 
  • Before applying pesticides (indoors or out), always take children and their toys, as well as pets, out of the area. Keep them away until the pesticide has dried or as long as the label advises
  • When applying insect repellents to children, read all directions first; do not apply over cuts, wounds or irritated skin; do not apply to eyes, mouth, hands or directly on the face. Use just enough to cover exposed skin or clothing, but do not use under clothing. 
  • Don’t stockpile pesticides — buy only enough pesticide to carry you through the intended season.

Educational Resources 

EPA - Reduce Your Child's Chances of Pesticide Poisoning
CDC - Protect Your Family: Reduce Contamination at Home
NPIC Pesticides and Children
California Department of Pesticide Regulation - Don't play around with children and pesticides 

ate Agencies
Oregon Department of Agriculture - School Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to protect children from pesticides during school hours, states like Oregon, have implemented regulations to protect children on or near school property from exposure to pesticdes. 

Educational Handouts 

Protecting Children From Pesticides.pdf
Protegiendo a los niños de los pesticidas.pdf