Poison Prevention

How About Poison Prevention All Year?

National Poison Prevention Week is coming to an end. It’s been awesome to see so many people and organizations across the country focusing on the importance of poison prevention this week. But our hope is that we don’t forget about poison prevention once the week is over. Poison prevention is a year-round issue!

This calendar of monthly tips will help us keep thinking about poison prevention all year:

April: April showers bring … allergy season! Antihistamines are involved in many accidental poisonings. Remember to reseal these and all medicines completely and immediately after use.  Lock them up where even adventurous climbers cannot find them.

May: Are you spring cleaning?  In 2010, poison centers received more than 10,000 calls about exposure to toilet bowl cleaners alone. Put a lid lock on the toilet, and seal and lock up all bathroom cleaning supplies.

June: The flowers are in bloom! Make sure you know if the plants in your house and yard are poisonous, and remove them or keep children and pets away from them. Poison centers received more than 50,000 calls about exposures to poisonous plants in 2010.

July: Summer brings insects out in force. Protect yourself when using pesticides. Cover your skin with long sleeves and long pants because these chemicals can be easily absorbed through the skin and can be extremely poisonous. Remove children, pets and toys from the area before applying pesticides.

August: It’s a popular month to travel. Ask visitors to store purses and luggage out of reach, and follow this advice yourself, both at home and when visiting.

September: As your college-age kids leave for the fall term, send the Poison Help number with them. 1-800-222-1222.

October: It gets dark out early. Use this as a reminder to make sure you can see what you’re taking. Turn on the lights to take medicine and wear your glasses to read instructions. Always check the dosage.

November: Happy Thanksgiving!  Practice safe food handling. Frequent hand washing, cooking meat to the proper temperature, and avoiding cross-contamination will keep all of your guests out of the hospital this holiday.

December: Button batteries can be very dangerous. Check remote controls, electronic keys, cell phones, toys and other items to make sure that small, ingestible button batteries are not accessible to young children.

January: A perfect New Year’s resolution that’s easy to keep: Program your cell phone with the Poison Help number.  1-800-222-1222.

February: In this cold month, remember to have your furnace checked by a professional at least once a year, and install carbon monoxide detectors on each level of your home and outside sleeping areas.

March: Celebrate 2013’s National Poison Prevention Week, and keep spreading the word about poison prevention!

For even more poison prevention tips, click “61 Poison Prevention Tips for NPPW” here. And remember, if the unthinkable happens, you can call your local poison center day or night, seven days a week, any day of the year. We never close! 1-800-222-1222

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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