Poisoning is the #1 cause of injury-related death in the U.S. The third week in March each year is designated as National Poison Prevention Week (NPPW), a week dedicated to raising awareness about the burden of poisoning in the U.S. and highlighting specific ways to prevent it. This year, NPPW is March 17-23, 2019.
Not only are children naturally curious, but they also act fast. It takes only seconds for a child to get a hold of something dangerous. In 2015, just under half of the 2.2 million human exposure cases managed by poison centers involved children younger than six. Of those cases, cosmetics/personal care products, household cleaning substances and analgesics (pain relievers) were the top three substance categories involved. It’s imperative that parents and caregivers take extra precautions to protect children from being exposed to potentially poisonous substances.
It’s easy to make a difference... simply share poison prevention information with your family, friends, coworkers and community:
- First... Be prepared: To order a home safety packet with 2 Poison Help phone number stickers and a magnet, click here.
- If you text the word “poison” to 797979 you will be automatically texted back a link to download a vCard into your smartphone that is pre-loaded with the contact information for “poison control.” This service works on iPhones and androids. If you have an iPhone, you will also find that Siri does immediately know the number for poison control without searching for it online if it’s in your phone as a contact.
- Second… Teach young children what poisons are: Most young children can tell you poisons are bad, but the same children also think their homes don’t have poisons in them. Use this short video to teach preschool children about poisons.
- Third... Practice poison prevention:
- Remember, nothing is child-proof!
- Put all medicine up, away, and out of sight.
- Read the label on medicines before taking it or giving it to someone. Don’t call medicine candy to entice a child to take it easier.
- Safely dispose of expired or unneeded medicine.
- Make sure all cleaning products are stored in their original containers. Store these containers up high and out of reach of children.
- Be aware of toys that might contain hazards like magnets and disc “button” batteries and keep these objects secure and away from children!
(repost from 3/15/18)