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Healthline Connects
Healthline Connects

1-800-222-1222 Poison Prevention Week

The US Congress established National Poison Prevention Week in 1961 and we observe it the third week of March every year. Most poisoning victims are children. Preventing accidental poisonings by keeping toxic substances and medications sealed and out of reach is a responsibility of every adult. Many things that we take for granted, like plants, soap and shampoo, are poisonous. Dishwasher soap is particularly corrosive and can cause burns in the mouth and esophagus if consumed. Carbon monoxide poisoning from common household appliances like furnaces, water heaters and gas generators claims too many lives. Fifteen hundred US deaths are due to accidental carbon monoxide poisoning (2300 deaths are due to suicide by carbon monoxide). Ten thousand people seek medical attention for accidental exposure and recover. Chronic poisoning occurs when someone is exposed to low levels of this gas over days to months. Installing carbon monoxide alarms can prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

The Poison Control Center is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-222-1222. Call this number immediately if poisoning is suspected. There are 61 Poison Centers in the US available to assist both lay people and health care professionals. Poison Control staff will ask questions, so be prepared with basic information: age and weight of the victim, what the substance is, the time of the exposure, and how much was consumed.

Congratulations to Jessica Shenoi of Tulsa Oklahoma for winning the 2006 poster contest, and thank you for use of your image.


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