During National Poison Prevention Week, Remember: “Kids Come in All Sizes and Colors… So Do Poisons”
Poison exposure is one of the leading causes of childhood injury in America – an alarming, yet preventable statistic. During National Poison Prevention Week, March 17-23, the California Poison Control System (CPCS) reminds parents, grandparents and other caregivers that most poisonings can be prevented by taking a few precautions.
In the event of a poison exposure, fast, free and confidential health care advice from trained professionals is just a phone call away 24 hours, 7 days a week, year-round. From minor incidents to emergencies, the California Poison Control System can provide immediate assistance, advice and, if necessary, a referral to the closest emergency room. In the case of an emergency, CPCS staff will call ahead to alert medical personnel of a patient’s arrival, provide direct treatment advice, and monitor a patient’s progress until discharged.
The California Poison Control System hotline is 1-800-876-4766. Post this number near each telephone.
The CPCS also offers a range of community outreach programs and educational materials for those involved in efforts to prevent poisonings and keep children safe. Callers can receive stickers and poison prevention materials by contacting the education voicemail line at 1-800-582-3387. Phone stickers and other education materials can also be accessed from the California Poison Control System web site: www.calpoison.org
This year’s special theme for national Poison Prevention Week is :“Kids come in all sizes and colors… so do poisons.”
Many practical steps can be taken to reduce the risk of poison exposure if you have children under the age of five living in or visiting your home.
Top 10 Ways to Keep Children Safe From Poisons:
1) Place the California Poison Control System hotline number on or near all phones.
2) Ask for child resistant containers.
3) Do not store food products and household cleaners in the same cabinet.
4) Always keep products in their original containers.
5) Keep harmful medicines and household products out of reach and in locked cabinets.
6) Never call medicine candy.
7) Do not take medicine in front children; they love to imitate adults.
8) Many poisonings occur when a product is in use. If the doorbell or the phone rings, or there are other distractions, keep the product with you.
9) Know your plants. Check the CPCS web site at www.calpoison.org, or call the hotline to find out.
10) Keep potentially harmful products such as cosmetics, perfume, cigarettes, alcohol, vitamins with iron, and over-the-counter drugs completely out of reach.
The statewide California Poison Control System (CPCS) receives about 300,000 calls a year for poison emergencies and information. The public number for poisoning emergencies is 1-800-876-4766. CPCS consists of four divisions located at Central California Children’s Hospital in Fresno/Madera, UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, UC San Diego Medical Center and the UCSF-affiliated San Francisco General Hospital Medical Center. The California Poison Control System is managed by the UC San Francisco School of Pharmacy.