Did you know more than two million poisonings are reported each year to the Nation’s Poison Centers?
Numbers like this are why Congress created the National Poison Prevention Week in 1961. The purpose of this week is to focus attention on the dangers of poisonings and how to prevent them. This year’s National Poison Prevention Week will occur from March 18th through the 24th.
Many people think of poisoning as being exposed to or ingesting harmful chemicals or toxins, but poisoning also includes the improper or accidental use or ingestion of medications. Some examples of medication poisoning include taking the wrong medication and taking more than the prescribed dose. According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, approximately 90 percent of poisonings happen at home, and 51 percent of poisonings involve children under the age of six, however the majority of fatal poisonings occur among adults, especially older adults.
There is a risk of poisoning in every American home. To avoid being a part of the two million cases you can follow these three simple rules:
* Practice safe storage habits — Always store medicines and hazardous substances up, away, and out of sight of children. Keep these substances in their original, child resistant containers.
* Read and follow all labels and directions — Review medicine and product labels before you use them, especially before giving medicine to children.
* Detect invisible threats — Install a carbon monoxide detector in your home.
To learn more about ways to keep people of all ages safe and help prevent poisonings, visit the Poison Help Web site at www.PoisonHelp.hrsa.gov.
In case of a poison emergency, contact your local poison center at 1-800-222-1222.
Brody Davis is the Meigs County Health Department Emergency Response Coordinator.