The deterrent effect of poison-warning stickers

Am J Dis Child. 1984 Nov;138(11):1018-20. doi: 10.1001/archpedi.1984.02140490018004.


We examined the effect of poison-warning stickers on toddler behavior before and after an education program. Twenty children aged 12 to 30 months were randomly assigned to an experimental or control group. We observed the children for two five-minute sessions in a room containing ten pairs of containers, half of which were labeled with Mr Yuk stickers. Each child was allowed to play freely on the floor, and we recorded the manipulations of the labeled and unlabeled containers. During session 1, neither group showed a statistical preference for labeled or unlabeled containers. During session 2, control subjects again did not show a preference for labeled or unlabeled containers. We found that children in the experimental group preferred to touch labeled containers after undergoing education. Our findings suggest that toddlers may not be deterred from manipulating containers that are labeled with poison-warning stickers.

MeSH terms

  • Child Behavior
  • Child, Preschool
  • Health Education
  • Household Products
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Poisoning / prevention & control*
  • Product Labeling*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Random Allocation