55th Annual National Poison Prevention Week March 19-25

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Provided by Prince William Fire & Rescue

It’s National Poison Prevention Week (NPPW)(March 19th -25th). The American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) are uniting with the nation’s 55 poison control centers to celebrate the 55th Annual National Poison Prevention Week to raise awareness about poisonings in the U.S. while highlighting specific ways in which to prevent it. Poisonings can occur at anywhere, anytime to anyone ranging from medication mishaps to poisonous outdoor exposures.

National Poison Prevention Week occurs annually during the third week of March and is designated to remind the public that while poisoning is the leading cause of injury death in the United States, many poisonings are preventable and treatable with expert help just a phone call away. In 2015, the 55 poison centers received over 2.8 million calls from consumers for poison exposure treatment and/or information. According to the AAPC, approximately 57% of all poisonous exposures, during that time period, involved pharmaceuticals. Other exposures were household products, plants, mushrooms, pesticides, animal bites and stings, carbon monoxide, and many other types of nonpharmaceutical substances. Exposure by ingestion accounted for 84% of these cases, states the AAPC; however, people were also exposed to potentially dangerous substances through the lungs, skin, eyes and other routes

“Children Act Fast…So Do Poisons!” is the basic theme for National Poison Prevention Week due to half of all cases of poison exposure are children under the age of six while more than 90% of poisoning deaths occur among people over the age of 20. Public education, child-resistant closure requirements and the experts at the Poison Help Line has helped reduce the number of pediatric poisonings, yet we still have a long way to go.

  1. Use child-resistant containers whenever possible.
  2. Never refer to medications as “candy”.
  3. Read the label on all medicines and products, to follow directions exactly.
  4. Use measuring devices that come with medications. Don’t Guess-Be Sure of dose.
  5. Store all medications, pesticides and laundry products out of the reach of children.
  6. Keep all products in their original containers. Don’t store in unmarked bottles.
  7. Do not mix household products together; this could make a poisonous gas.
  8. Install carbon monoxide alarms.
  9. Store the poison center phone number on every phone: 1-800-222-1222.

Most poisonings occur when individuals, parents, caregivers become distracted; therefore, Prince William County Department of Fire and Rescue Chief Kevin McGee urges residents to be vigilant in their daily routines and specifically when there is the slightest change within a routine.

For additional information on poison prevention and Poison Prevention Week, visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission cpsc.gov/, Association of Poison Control Centers aapcc.org/prevention/nppw/, Poison Prevention Week Council poisonprevention.org and on social media visit #preventpoison and #NPPW17.


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