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Unintentional Poisoning Prevention

susan_harr5 years ago

A call is made to a poison control center in the U.S. every 8 seconds; and unintentional poisoning leads to 82 deaths and 1,941 ER visits every day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). All across the nation, Americans of all ages are at risk for accidental poisoning from common medications, cosmetics, chemicals, and household cleaning agents. In 2005, poisoning was the second leading cause of injury death in Texas.

Poisoning Facts and Statistics

Information provided by the American Association of Poison Control Centers

  • In 2009, 4.2 million Americans called a poison control center.
  • 91% of the exposures called on occurred in the patient’s own home.
  • The most common substances involved included painkillers, cosmetics, and household cleaning supplies.
  • Children (5 and under) made up 52% of all exposure calls to poison centers.
  • Teens (13-19) showed a higher proportion of intentional poison exposures than any other age group.
  • Adults (20 and older) made up 93% of poisoning deaths.
  • The highest number of poisoning deaths was in adults age 40-49.

Prevention Techniques

Information below provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Chemical Poisoning Prevention

  • Always read the label before using a product that may be poisonous.
  • Keep chemical products in their original bottles or containers.
  • Never mix household products together.
  • Wear protective clothing when spraying pesticides or other chemicals.
  • Turn on the fan and open windows when using chemical products (even household cleaners).

Drug/Medication Poisoning Prevention

  • Follow directions on the label when you give or take medicines.
  • Keep medicines in their original bottles or containers.
  • Never share or sell your prescription drugs.
  • Keep all prescription medicines, over-the-counter medicines, and vitamins/herbals in a safe place that can only be reached by people who take or give them.
  • Monitor the use of medicines prescribed for children and teenagers, such as medicines for attention deficit disorder.
  • Dispose of unused, unneeded, or expired prescription drugs. Follow the federal guidelines for how to do this.
In the Event of a Possible Poisoning
  • Remain calm.
  • Call 911 if you have a poison emergency and the victim has collapsed or is not breathing.
  • If the victim is awake and alert, dial 1-800-222-1222. Try to have this information ready:

    • the victim’s age and weight
    • the container or bottle of the poison if available
    • the time of the poison exposure
    • the address where the poisoning occurred
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