Prevent Unintentional Poisonings and Save a Life
Celebrate National Poison Prevention Week
Do you know what to do if you think you, a loved one, or a pet has been poisoned from medicines, chemicals, cleaning products, or food? Do you know who to contact for information about medicines, their uses, side effects, or interactions? Contact the New Jersey Poison Control Center by calling 800-222-1222 or go online at www.njpies.org and use its new chat and text capabilities. Specially trained healthcare professionals provide callers with immediate help, 24 hours a day 7 days a week, with translation available in over 100 languages. Poison center experts assist callers of all ages; most cases can be resolved over the phone, thereby avoiding expensive and unnecessary trips to the emergency room.
National Poison Prevention Week, March 20-26, 2011
Each year, during the third week of March, the New Jersey Poison Control Center along with all poison centers across the country, recognizes National Poison Prevention Week (March 20-26, 2011). This observance focuses attention on the dangers of poisonings and how to prevent them. More than half of all poisoning exposures occur in children under the age of six. The majority of fatal poisonings occur among adults, especially older adults.
“Since Poison Prevention Week begins on the first day of spring, this is an ideal time to take spring-cleaning to a new level and clean out your medicine cabinets, closets and pantries, garages and sheds,” notes Dr. Steven Marcus, executive and medical director, NJ Poison Control Center.
- Lock toxins away. We are trained to lock away valuables, but from a poison perspective it’s more important to lock away medications and toxins so family members and pets don’t gain access to these dangerous materials. Toxic substances should be under lock and key. Purchase lockable containers for the materials, including a lockable medicine cabinet.
- Use protective seals. Medications and potential toxic substances come with child-resistant caps. These caps work only if they are replaced promptly and correctly.
- Label everything clearly. It’s best to keep products in their original packages, but if you cannot, make sure the new containers are correctly labeled so everyone can know what’s inside.
By educating NJ citizens on preventative steps to take against poisonings, we are keeping families safe,” said Bruce Ruck, Pharm.D. It is very important that people arm themselves with basic knowledge on poison prevention in the home, such as keeping chemicals and medicines out of the reach of children and carefully reading the labels and dosages on all products.”
The NJ Poison Control Center wants to ensure safer home and work environments for its residents. Call 800-222-1222, chat online or text in to poison center experts to learn simple steps to poison proof your home and avoid unnecessary exposures to or interactions with potential poisons. Remember to follow us on Facebook for breaking news, safety tips, trivia questions, etc.
Most poisonings are preventable! Put the Poison Help number (1-800-222-1222) in your home, office, and cell phones today! It can save a life.