The third week of March recognizes National Poison Prevention Week. This awareness period is a time to evaluate safety measures we take around work and home. Across the country, organizations and communities promote tips and services that can help prevent poisoning.
Do you know how to contact our local Poison Control Center? You can call 1-800-222-1222 for the local center but if it is an emergency call 911 directly. Poison control centers are a resource for non-emergency questions related to possible poisoning and poisonous items. The 55 centers serve all 50 states along with the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Federated States of Micronesia, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam.
One benefit of the poison control centers is the free advice they give via the aforementioned 1-800 number. According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC), they answer almost three million calls a year, which helps save lives and tax dollars. They also provide education and outreach programs to help people learn about poison safety and the use of the hotline. You can even request educational materials from your local center.
The AAPCC offers these tips to prevent poisoning:
- Be prepared for an emergency. Keep the national, free Poison Helpline number at your fingertips by saving the number in your mobile phone: 1-800-222-1222. Text POISON to 797979 to save the number in your smartphone.
- Practice safe storage habits. Always store medicines and hazardous substances up, away, and out of sight of children. Keep these substances in their original, child resistant containers.
- Read and follow all labels and directions. Review medicine and product labels before you use them, especially before giving medicine to children.
- Detect invisible threats. Install a carbon monoxide detector in your home.
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One Team. One Vision. One Goal. – Everyone Goes Home Safe!