March is a big month for poison control. Throughout March, the Texas poison centers will participate in educational events in schools, libraries, and online. They will also celebrate a significant week, Poison Prevention Week, March 20-26, 2022. This time of year is a great reminder to become better informed about keeping yourself and others safe from unintentional poisonings.
As we focus on ensuring that our families and ourselves do not get unintentionally poisoned, now is a great time to take a walk around your home and see if it is poison safe! In this blog, we will share a few tips to keep your home safe at all times of the year.
First, when we think of poisons, we usually think of dangerous chemicals or items you might find under your kitchen sink or in the garage. The poison centers get calls for all types of unintentional poisonings, whether from a bite or sting, a medication mix-up, or a plant. There are so many different calls that come into a poison center. While thoughts of accidental poisonings can be scary, the poison control toll-free helpline (1-800-222-1222) is there when you need it the most.
Essential Facts and Tips to Remember
· The most common exposures are to medicines, plants, pesticides, and cleaning products in children six and under.
· Child-resistant packages do NOT mean childproof. Most two-year-olds can open a child-resistant container in 4 to 5 minutes or less. It is best to keep medicines locked up and away and out of reach for children.
· Calling 1-800-222-1222 from anywhere in the United States will connect you to a local poison center. The poison centers are available 24/7.
· Never refer to medicine (prescription, vitamins, or otherwise) as candy, as children may mistake tiny pills or medication in gummy or candy form as actual candy.
· Check furnaces annually. Make sure carbon monoxide detectors are in the house and checked multiple times a year. This is especially important for the winter months.
· Stay out of wooded overgrown areas. This will help to prevent insect stings, snake bites, or coming in contact with a poisonous plant.
· Remind grandparents and other caretakers to poison-proof their homes before bringing little ones over.
If you or someone with you has been unintentionally poisoned, remember first to remain calm. Then call the toll-free Poison Help line right away at 1-800-222-1222. Stay on the phone with the poison control specialist and follow all the instructions. For more information on accidental poisonings and what you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones, please visit the Texas Poison Center Network website at www.poisoncontrol.org.