Poison Prevention Week
Poisoning is a year-round problem which affects people of all ages. In March, the focus is on unintentional poisonings in young children. These account for about half of all cases handled by the National Capital Poison Center and poison centers nationwide.
March 16-22, 2008
Many childhood poisonings are from household chemical products but most fatal poisonings in children are caused by medicines, not by common household products. Virtually all of these injuries are preventable. So, during National Poison Prevention Week, take these simple steps to protect your family:
Keep all household chemicals and medications out of sight in a locked cabinet. Just putting things "up high" isn't safe enough since many young children are fearless climbers.
Always store chemicals, cleaners, and medications in their original containers. Many poisonings occur when a product is put into an unlabeled container.
Use child-resistant closures, but realize that these are NOT "child-proof" and many children under the age of four can open them . . . it just takes a little more time. These closures are still an important tool in making the home more "poison proof".
Post the telephone number for the Poison Center near the telephone. Call right away if you suspect a poisoning. Don't wait to see if the victim becomes ill: many poisons can cause unseen damage.
When a poisoning occurs, the FIRST action to take is an immediate call to the Poison Center. The experts there will tell you what to do right away. Help from the Poison Center is fast, free and confidential. Most of the time, poisonings can be treated without going to the doctor, with guidance from the Poison Center.
To receive a free poison prevention brochure, and a magnet or telephone sticker, call 1-800-222-1222.