The Nebraska Regional Poison Center will unite with the nation’s other 54 poison centers to celebrate the 58th Annual National Poison Prevention Week on March 15-21, 2020, a week dedicated to raising awareness about poisoning in the U.S. and highlighting ways to prevent it. Each year, more than 2 million poisonings are reported to the Nation’s poison centers, which can be reached by calling 1-800-222-1222. The Poison Center is staffed by specially trained health care professionals including Registered Nurses, Pharmacists and Physicians.
Poisons are all around us and can affect anyone, anywhere, at any time of life. According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, 93 percent of poisonings happen at home, and 45 percent of poisonings involve children under the age of 6. The majority of fatal poisonings occur among adults, especially older adults. Many poisonings are preventable and expert help is just a phone call away.
Here are some poison prevention tips to protect yourself and your family:
- Program the toll-free number for the Poison Center (1-800-222-1222) into your cell phone or text “poison” to 797979 to save the contact information. Post the toll-free number visibly in your residence as well.
- Always put medicines and vitamins away after every use. It may be tempting to keep the medicine handy because you have to give another dose in a few hours, but children are very quick and may attempt to swallow it, so it is best to store out of reach and sight.
- Never refer to medicine as “candy” or another appealing name.
- Always use the dosing device that comes with the medicine container.
- If you have old, unused or expired medication call the Poison Center for assistance in locating a pharmacy that can take medication back.
- Install carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in your home. Make sure there is one on every level of your home, especially around sleeping areas. If the CO alarm sounds, leave your home immediately and move to a safe location outside where you can get fresh air.
- Keep liquid nicotine products and cigarettes out of the reach of children. A small amount can be very poisonous to a child.
- Be aware of where the disc batteries are in your home. They may be found in remote controls, key fobs, hearing aids, musical cards or books. Curious toddlers will swallow these readily and are very dangerous if ingested.
- Never mix household products together. For example, mixing bleach with an acid or an ammonia cleaner may result in a toxic gas.
- Check your home (including garage) for cleaning supplies, laundry detergent packets, plants, personal care products, alcohol, pesticides, gasoline and medicine. Keep them out of sight or locked up.
The Nebraska Regional Poison Center is a free community service to the public.
When you call 1-800-222-1222, you will speak immediately to a Registered Nurse or Pharmacist 24/7/365.