Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center Raises Awareness about National Poison Prevention Week
Experts at the Drug and Poison Information Center want to prevent unintentional poisonings and drug-related issuesSunday, March 16, 2014
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center is raising awareness about National Poison Prevention Week, which begins on Sunday, March 16, and continues through Saturday, March 22.
More than 2 million poisonings are reported each year to poison centers across the nation. According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, approximately 90 percent of poisonings happen at home, and 51 percent involve children under the age of six. The majority of fatal poisonings occur among adults, especially older adults.
In 2013, the Cincinnati Drug and Poison Information Center received over 81,000 calls regarding issues that were addressed by the center’s trained staff, which includes doctors, nurses and pharmacists. The Cincinnati Drug and Poison Center is one of the largest in the country and provides service to 24 counties in Southwest Ohio and Northeast Ohio, which covers 5.8 million Ohioans.
“By educating local residents about preventative steps in the home and in their lives, I believe we can make serious progress in keeping our loved ones safe,” said Earl Siegel, PharmD, Managing Director, Drug and Poison Information Center. “It is vital that people arm themselves with basic information on poison prevention in the home, such as keeping chemicals out of the reach of children and carefully reading the labels and dosages on all products,” said Siegel.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services gives the following tips for preventing poisoning:
- Keep chemicals in their original bottles or containers. Do not use food containers such as cups, bottles, or jars to store chemicals such as cleaning solutions or beauty products.
- Keep all drugs in medicine cabinets or other childproof cabinets that young children cannot reach.
- Never leave children alone with household products or drugs. If you are using chemical products or taking medicine and you have to do something else, such as answer the phone, take any young children with you.
- Turn on fans and open windows when using chemicals or household cleaners, and never sniff containers to see what is inside.
- Never share or sell your prescription drugs.
- Wear protective clothing (gloves, long sleeves, long pants, socks, shoes) if you spray pesticides or other chemicals. Stay away from areas that have been sprayed until the spray has dried or for at least one hour.
- Never mix household or chemical products together. Doing so can create a dangerous gas.
In case of a poison emergency please call 1-800-222-1222 immediately. This national hotline connects callers directly to their local poison center.
About National Poison Prevention Week
National Poison Prevention Week was established by the U.S. Congress in 1961 to focus national attention on the dangers of poisonings and how to prevent them. 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 (or to view materials in Spanish, visit www.PoisonHelpEspanol.hrsa.gov).
About Cincinnati Children’s
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center ranks third in the nation among all Honor Roll hospitals in U.S. News and World Report’s 2013 Best Children’s Hospitals ranking. It is ranked #1 for cancer and in the top 10 for nine of 10 pediatric specialties. Cincinnati Children’s, a non-profit organization, is one of the top three recipients of pediatric research grants from the National Institutes of Health, and a research and teaching affiliate of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. The medical center is internationally recognized for improving child health and transforming delivery of care through fully integrated, globally recognized research, education and innovation. Additional information can be found at www.cincinnatichildrens.org. Connect on the Cincinnati Children’s blog, via Facebook and on Twitter.