American Association of Poison Control Centers Urges Everyone To Become a Poisoning Prevention Superhero

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AAPCC Observes 50th Annual National Poison Prevention Week

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Poisoning prevention superheroes don't wear capes or leap over tall buildings -- they do everything they can to make sure their homes are poison-proof.

The American Association of Poison Control Centers is urging everyone to celebrate National Poison Prevention Month by becoming a poisoning prevention superhero, according to Deborah A. Carr, executive director of the American Association of Poison Control Centers.

Since 1962, the third week in March has been designated National Poison Prevention Week and has focused national attention on the dangers of poisonings and how to prevent them. America’s 57 poison centers are committed to safeguarding the health and well-being of every American through poison prevention and free, confidential, expert medical advice.

“Poisoning prevention superheroes take steps to prevent poisonings,” Carr said. “They may not wear capes or leap over tall buildings, but they take the health and safety of their families very seriously, and they do everything they can to make sure their homes are poison-proof. We all need to be poisoning prevention superheroes.”

According to the AAPCC, much progress has been made in poison prevention over the past 50 years. In 1972, for example, more than 200 children in the U.S. died as a result of poisoning. By 2007, that number dropped to 39. However, deaths in other age groups have risen dramatically, and poisoning is now the leading cause of death from unintentional injuries in the United States – ahead of motor vehicle crashes and guns.

Experts at the nation’s poison centers say poisonings can be prevented by taking the following steps to protect yourself and your loved ones:

  • Go through your garage and every room in your house to make sure poisons are locked up high and out of sight.
  • Teach your children to ask an adult before eating, drinking or touching anything.
  • When you leave your children in a babysitter’s care, make sure to leave the Poison Help number too.
  • Install a carbon monoxide detector in your home and check the batteries twice a year.
  • Make sure to store home or garden chemicals up high where children can’t see or reach them, and always keep them in their original containers.
  • Keep all medicines, vitamins and herbal supplements locked up high and out of sight and reach of children.
  • Make sure visitors follow your home’s poison-prevention rules.
  • Call your local poison center at 1-800-222-1222 for poison prevention materials and information.
  • Share poisoning prevention tips with your friends, family and coworkers.
  • Make poisoning prevention a year-round responsibility.
  • Program your cell phone with the Poison Help number and post it near your home phone. 1-800-222-1222

“Even poisoning prevention superheroes need help sometimes,” Carr said. “When the unthinkable happens, it’s good to know help is just a phone call away. The experts at your local poison center help doctors, nurses, hospitals, 911 responders and people like you every day. When you need information or help in an emergency, call your local poison center at 1-800-222-1222.”

For more information, the media may contact Loreeta Canton, AAPCC communications manager, at 703.894.1863 or canton(at)aapcc(dot)org or Brett Schuster, communications assistant, at 703.894.1859 or schuster(at)aapcc(dot)org.

The AAPCC supports the nation’s 57 poison centers in their efforts to treat and prevent drug, consumer product, animal, environmental and food poisoning. Members staff the Poison Help hotline at 1-800-222-1222 that provides free, confidential, expert medical advice 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year from toxicology specialists, including nurses, pharmacists, physicians and poison information providers. In addition, the AAPCC maintains the only poison information and surveillance database in the United States, providing real-time monitoring of unusual poisoning patterns, chemical exposures and other emerging public health hazards. The AAPCC partners with federal agencies such as EPA, HRSA and the CDC, as well as private industry.

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