June 9, 2022

Backyard Safety

Missouri Poison CenterFire up the grill and invite your friends over – summer is here! Whether you have an impressive fireworks display or just a simple BBQ, the Missouri Poison Center can help you keep your summer events safe.

Follow the tips below to ensure everyone’s safety this summer.

Backyard Poison Hazards

There are a lot of chemicals out there to help keep the bugs away and your landscaping looking great. The products sold to homeowners are generally harmless to people. Contact with them might cause a rash, allergic reaction, or eye irritation.

Lawn & Garden

Each product has its own risks and ingredients. If an exposure happens, it is important to speak to one of our specially trained nurses or pharmacists for proper first aid advice.

Lawn & garden safety tips:

  • Always follow the directions on the container’s label
  • Use recommended protective equipment such as gloves or masks when handling hazardous products
  • Keep children and pets out of the area when using chemicals
  • Always keep the products you use in their original container

Pool Chemicals

Maintaining a pool’s chemical balance is very important. These chemicals go after bacteria and other organic material, which means they can go after you too. They can cause eye and throat irritation and coughing, even when used as directed. Sometimes irritation can occur just by opening the container. If the exposure to them is significant, chemical burns can result. These chemicals need to be handled only by adults and kept far away from everyone else. 
Pool chemical safety tips:

  • When opening your pool chemicals, open them in a well-ventilated area or outside
  • Store pool chemicals in a COOL, DRY, WELL-VENTILATED area, away from other household products and garden chemicals
  • Make sure that containers are tightly capped or sealed before you put them away, and wash your hands after handling the products

Fuels, Oils and Solvents

Take appropriate precautions if you use lighter fluid for the grill or tiki torches to create a fun ambiance. A child may take a sip from a container that’s left out, thinking the brightly colored oil is juice.

These products contain hydrocarbons and can cause problems like chemical pneumonia. This occurs when the liquid enters the lungs instead of the stomach, causing coughing and choking. 

Fuel, oil & solvent safety tips:

  • Never walk away from a product that is out, open and in use
  • Never mix chemicals of any kind together. An unexpected and uncontrollable reaction may occur
  • Always keep these products in their original container
  • Store all of these products up and out-of-sight right away after use


Call the Missouri Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 right away if you suspect a poisoning has occurred. Call anytime of the day or night if you have a question or need help.