March 20, 2012

National Poison Prevention Week is March 18-24

State Residents Urged to Review Household Safety Tips

MADISON-During the 50th anniversary of National Poison Prevention Week, March 18-24, state officials are encouraging Wisconsin residents to review the common causes of accidental poisonings and take steps to prevent them.

"This week helps remind us that we can prevent many of the accidental poisonings caused by exposure to household items or the lack of carbon monoxide detection devices in the home," said Dr. Henry Anderson, State Health Officer. "The best defense against poisonings is being prepared."

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, more than 150,000 calls annually to poison centers involve pesticides and disinfectants and more than half of pesticide exposures occur in children five years old or younger. The five most common poison exposures in children include cosmetics and personal care products, pain medication, cleaning products, foreign objects and creams.

Anderson noted the following key ways to reduce exposure to poisons:

  • Program the Poison Help Line, 1-800-222-1222, into your phone and post the number near your phone. The poison center is open 24/7, every day of the year.
  • Make sure you have a carbon monoxide detector installed on each level of your home. Campers, hunters and boaters can take battery-operated detectors with them to alert them to dangerous carbon monoxide levels. Carbon monoxide is the leading cause of fatal poisonings.
  • Store household products, including medications, household chemicals and pesticides, up high and out of children's reach, in a locked cabinet or garden shed, and store them in their original containers. Do not use food containers, like empty soda cans or juice bottles, to store household chemicals.
  • Use child safety latches on drawers or cabinets if there are young children in your home.
  • If your house was built before 1978, have your children and home tested for lead.
  • Place poisonous plants, like philodendron and English ivy, out of reach of young children and pets. 

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