Each year, more than 2 million poisonings are reported to poison control centers ... more than 90% of those poisonings occur at home.
The average home contains dozens of chemical products, from medicine and cleaning products to insect repellent and spray paint.
When these products are used as intended, they can make our lives better and easier. But when they’re used in the wrong way, by the wrong person, or in the wrong amount, they can lead to an accidental poisoning.
HOW CAN I PREVENT POISONING?
Knowing what substances in your home can cause harm is important… especially if you have little ones. 45% of all poison exposures involve children under the age of 6.
Here are some tips to prevent accidents from household poisons:
• Always keep chemical products and medications in their original containers.
•Never take medications in the dark and avoid leaving containers open – even to answer a quick phone call.
• Make sure you have carbon monoxide alarms installed in your home.
• Save the poison helpline as a contact in your phone so you have it in case of an emergency.
The toll-free number is 1-866-454-1212 or call/text 211
• Poison-proof your home by keeping cleaning products, medications and other chemicals locked up and out of sight.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF SOMEONE HAS BEEN POISONED?
If you suspect someone in your home has come in contact with a poison, it’s important to get help right away. If the person has trouble breathing or has lost consciousness, you should call 911 immediately. Do your best to stay calm, and relay all the information you have to the dispatcher so they can send help quickly.
If the situation doesn’t appear to be immediately life threatening, you can call the poison helpline at 1-866-454-1212 or call/text 211. This number will connect you to your local poison center, which provides access to a team of nurses, pharmacists and toxicologists – free of charge.
Be sure to give as much information to the poison helpline as possible, including:
• The name of the product or substance
• Age and weight of the victim
• Amount of poison involved
Then, the expert at the poison control center will give you the advice you need. And here’s a comforting fact: two-thirds of calls to the poison help line are controlled right where they occur – meaning most calls can be handled at home.
In an emergency call:
911 or 1-866-454-1212
or call/text 211.