Thursday, October 22, 2015

National Health Education Week: Being Aware of Poison Control Services

It’s National Public Education Week, a time when national attention is brought to the forefront on major public health issues as well as a time to promote consumers’ understanding of health education and the importance of staying informed. This year’s theme is Health Education: Past, Present, and Future.

There are various ways you can help poison control centers promote poison control services! If you are in the health industry, try reaching out to your local poison center to work on collaboration efforts (here is a link to the Texas Poison Center Network: Public health partnerships help expand resources and increase knowledge thus creating a healthier nation. That equals a win-win!
You can also share facts and information with friends, family and colleagues on poison center resources. Parents play a critical role in helping their tweens learn about the responsible use of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines. With approximately 10,000 kids under age 18 visiting emergency departments every year due to errors from self-administering OTC medications, it is important for parents and guardians to discuss the safe use and storage of OTC medicines with their tweens.

For example, did you know in 2013, America’s poison centers managed over 250,000 exposure cases involving children? Over fifty percent of these cases involved medication errors or misuse. These numbers can decrease as long as we increase our knowledge regarding over the counter medications.

Remember that poison centers are staffed with experts such as doctors, nurses, pharmacists and even toxicologists who are waiting to answer your call for help. They can answer anything from general questions about medicines to concerns about a potential poisoning. Save the number in your phone now so you have it when you need it: 1-800-222-1222. You can call anytime from anywhere in the United States.

In today’s world, health education is more critical than ever. That’s why the Texas Poison Center Network wants you to know that there are FREE services available to you to help you with your health needs and poison concerns. Poison center educators can provide presentations for all ages at a variety of locations and they also can exhibit at health fairs and other educational events.  To contact an educator in your area just click here- Don’t hesitate to reach out and make sure your friends, family and colleagues are aware of these services too. It could save a life.

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