The Health Resources and Services Administration sponsors the National Poison Prevention Week during the third full week of March every year. According to the HRSA, “The week is an opportunity to highlight the dangers of poisonings for people of all ages and promote community involvement in poisoning prevention.”
In 1961, Congress established National Poison Prevention Week to raise awareness, reduce unintentional poisonings, and promote poison prevention.Awareness events are sponsored by the National Poison Prevention Week Council, including a children’s artwork contest to raise awareness about poisons. Additionally, poison centers across the country conduct activities to raise awareness of the dangers of poisoning.
Poison Prevention Tips
The Central Ohio Poison Center offers several poison prevention tips on their website including:
- Use National Poison Prevention Week (third week of March) as the time to inspect your entire home for any medicines or household products, such as detergents, cleaning products, pesticides, and fertilizers that may not be stored properly and correct the situation immediately. Always store medicines and household products up high, away and out of sight from children.
- Re-close medicines and other household products if interrupted during use. Many incidents happen when adults are distracted when using these products (e.g., by the telephone or the doorbell).
- Buy products in child-resistant packaging whenever possible. But remember, child-resistant is not childproof, and is designed to keep children away from the product for a short time before a parent notices.
- Once purchased, use child-resistant packaging properly by closing the container tightly after each use.
Poison Prevention Resources
Parents can find multiple resources located on the Central Ohio Poison Center’s website. These resources include videos, training, program materials, and Helping Hands links for medicine safety.
HRSA wants to remind parents that Every Second Counts in a Poison Emergency.
If your child is breathing, but you suspect he may have swallowed something poisonous, contact the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222. Keep this number posted by every phone.