March 16-24 is National Poison Prevention Week

March 16-24 is National Poison Prevention Week
Poison comes in various forms but are all lethal, especially to children. Learn what can be done to prevent poisonings and help spread info on first aid responses.

It’s National Poison Prevention Week from March 16 to 24, the perfect time to refresh your knowledge about poisoning and the steps that you can take to help prevent accidental poisonings. and tips for promoting community involvement in poison prevention.

National Poison Prevention Week, celebrated annually on the third week of March, is nationally designated to raise awareness regarding the dangers of poisoning and how people can prevent such in their households. The only way to avoid children and other members of your family, as well as people in your community, from being poisoned is by arming yourself with the right knowledge about poisons and becoming actively involved in the poison prevention campaign in your area.

There are over two million cases of poisonings reported annually to  about 57 poison control centers in the United States. Of these numbers, more than 90 percent take place at home. Most of the non-fatal but equally serious poisonings happen to kids who are below six years of age. In addition, poisoning is one of the major causes of death among adults.

Here’s what you can do to prevent or handle accidental poisonings in your home:

  • Pesticides and other household chemical products should be properly labeled for identification and safely stored inside a locked cabinet, container, or shed that is difficult for children and pets to reach or access.

  • Whenever using a product, be sure to read the product label first. Follow usage instructions precisely.

  • When shopping for cleaning products, choose the safest among the selection. Look at their certifications and whether they have the Design for the Environment (DfE) label.

  • Never leave poisonous and harmful chemicals or substances unattended whenever you use them, even for a split second.

  • If you have to attend to something while handling a toxic substance, make an effort to re-seal them.

  • Use child-resistant packaging properly by closing the container tightly after use.

  • Never transfer pesticides and other household chemical products to containers that may be mistaken for food or drink.

  • Remove children, pets, toys, bottles and pacifiers before applying pesticides (inside or outside the home). Follow label directions to determine when children and pets can return to the area that has been treated.

  • To protect children and pets from exposure to mouse and rat poison, use products with a tamper-resistant bait station.

  • Never use illegal pesticides (e.g., Tres Pasitos, unregistered Insecticidal Chalk). These products have not been reviewed by EPA and their use may pose a danger to public health. Always look for an EPA Registration ID number on the label. (Example: EPA Reg. No. 500-123456)

  • Get your home and child tested for lead.

  • Have a working carbon monoxide detector in your home.

  • Program the Poison Help number, 1-800-222-1222, in your phone. When accidents happen with pesticides, chemicals, medicine or household products, call Poison Help and get help right away from a local poison expert.