A poison is considered any substance, including medications, which can be harmful to your body if too much is ingested, inhaled, injected or absorbed through the skin. An accidental poisoning occurs when a person unintentionally takes too much of a substance and does not mean to cause harm.Currently, more than two million poisonings are reported each year to the Nation’s poison centers. And according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, approximately 90 percent of poisonings happen at home, and 51 percent of them involve children under the age of six.
Here are some poison facts and tips:
- In children ages six and younger, the most common exposure is to medicines, plants, pesticides and cleaning products.
- Child-resistant packages are not childproof. Most two-year olds can open a child-resistant container in 4 to 5 minutes.
- Calling 1-800-222-1222 from anywhere in the United States will connect you to a local poison center.
- Keep all poisons locked up and out of reach of children.
- Never refer to medicine (prescription, vitamins or otherwise) as candy as children may mistake tiny pills for yummy candy.
- Get household furnaces checked yearly and make sure working carbon monoxide detectors are in the house and checked multiple times a year. This is especially important for the winter months.
What to Do if a Poisoning Occurs
In the event that you or someone with you has been poisoned, first remain calm. Then call the toll-free Poison Help line right away at 1-800-222-1222. Make sure to have the following information on hand:
- victim’s weight
- the container or bottle that provides what the victim was poisoned with
- when the poisoning occurred
- the location of the poisoning
Stay on the phone with the poison control specialist and follow all the instructions you are given. For more information on accidental poisonings and what you can do to protect yourself and loved ones, please visit www.poisoncontrol.org.
See below the Proclamation from Texas Governor Rick Perry recognizing Poison Prevention Week!