Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Poison Prevention Week Brings Awareness to the Dangers of Potential Poisons

National Poison Prevention Week, March 15-21, 2020 is quickly approaching, and we want to take
this time to bring awareness to potential poisons and how you can stay safe. In 1961, the United States designated the third full week of March as National Poison Prevention Week, a week dedicated to highlighting the dangers of poisonings. Poisonings are currently the leading cause of injury related death in the country. Many of these poisonings can be preventable. And for those that aren’t always preventable, a poison expert is only a phone call away and ready to assist you.

In 2018, poison centers in the US received approximately 2.6 million calls on poison exposures. That means the poison centers averaged a new case about every 12 seconds. According to the Lewin Report, approximately $1.8 billion dollars was the amount of money poison control centers saved Americans in unnecessary medical costs in 2018. Because of these calls, the poison centers were able to help save lives and cut down visits to the emergency room.

Poison centers are an incredible help when it comes to major public health emergencies and epidemics. Since 2011, poison centers have handled over 500,000 calls relating to opioid misuse and abuse. They have also handled calls regarding trending issues such as liquid laundry packets, button batteries, synthetic drugs and, most recently, the coronavirus.

Poison centers assist the public with their poisoning concerns, but they also assist first responders and hospital personnel dealing with poison emergencies. Poison centers are an excellent resource. They even assist in identifying emerging drugs of abuse and provide countless hours of education to healthcare professionals and the general public.   

What is considered a poison?
A poison is any substance, including medications, which can be harmful to your body if ingested, inhaled, injected or absorbed through the skin. Accidental poisoning can occur when a person is unintentionally exposed to a substance without wanting to cause themselves harm.
Poisonings are more common than you think. According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC), approximately 90 percent of these poisonings are happening at home, with over half of them involving children under six years old.

Here are some poison facts and tips to remember:
  • In children ages six and younger, the most common exposures are to medicines, personal care and cleaning products.
  • Child-resistant packages are not childproof. Most two-year olds can open a child-resistant container in 3 minutes or less.
  • Calling 1-800-222-1222 from anywhere in the United States will connect you to your regional poison center.  
  • Keep all poisons locked up, away and out of reach of children.
  • Never refer to medicine (prescription, vitamins or otherwise) as candy as children often mistake tiny pills for yummy candy.

What to do if you believe you have been exposed to a potential poison. 
In the event that you or someone with you has been potentially poisoned, always remember to first remain calm. Then immediately call the toll-free Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. Follow all the instructions you are given by the poison control specialist. Often, the poison control specialist will call back to make sure that things are okay. For more information on preventing poisonings, please visit the Texas Poison Center Network website at www.poisoncontrol.org.

No comments:

Post a Comment