Poison Prevention

Poison Centers: Saving Lives 24/7

Did you know you can call your local poison center any time of the day or night? Even if it’s not an emergency?

Well you can! America’s 57 poison centers around the country provide free, confidential advice 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year. We never close!

Trained experts are ready to help you with any poison question you have. There is really nothing that our poison center experts have not heard. If your toddler ate something growing in the yard, if you brushed your teeth with your topical ointment, if you took 10 pills in one day when you should have had one pill for 10 days, call us! When in doubt, check it out! For an idea about the types of calls poison centers get, see the Illinois Poison Center’s blog at http://ipcblog.org/2010/02/11/lifeofapoisoncenter/.  Poison center experts really have heard it all.

With more than 4 million calls a year that come into the Poison Help line, we take one call every eight seconds! We can help you in more than 150 languages or if you are hearing impaired. Calls are free and confidential, and more than 70 percent of calls can be handled at home, without having to go to a hospital. Just one number will connect you to your local poison control center: the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. Program this number into your cell phone.

Poison centers are for everyone – children, adults, seniors, even doctors and nurses who ask for treatment advice. In fact, doctors and nurses make an average of 1,400 calls every day to local poison centers. Poison centers save not just lives, but money, too.  Every dollar spent on poison centers saves $7 in unnecessary health-care costs.

Unfortunately, poison centers are in jeopardy because of deep federal, state and local budget cuts in 2011. Further cuts will make it difficult for poison centers to continue to provide life-saving services.

But you can help. Our representatives in Washington, D.C., and in state legislatures across the country are in the process of making difficult budget decisions. Please let your representatives know that you believe poison centers are vital and that you support funding and legislation to keep them running 24/7/365.

To join your voice with other poison center supporters, register for the AAPCC advocacy network at www.capwiz.com/aapcc. Just click on “Action E-List.”

The American Association of Poison Control Centers supports the nation’s 57 poison centers in their efforts to prevent and treat poison exposures. Poison centers offer free, confidential, expert medical advice 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The hotline is staffed by specially trained medical experts – including doctors, nurses and pharmacists – who take calls in more than 150 languages and from the hearing impaired.

For questions about poison or if you think someone has been exposed to a poison, call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222 to reach your local poison center.

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