Is On Prevention March 17-23 For National Poison Prevention Week
are a serious and sometimes deadly -- matter. According to the National
Poison Prevention Week Council, 30 children die every year due to accidental
poisoning, with approximately 1 million phone calls placed to Poison
Control Centers annually by adults seeking help when children have swallowed
In an effort to prevent such
tragic events, the Georgia Poison Center, a department within the Grady
Health System, recognizes Poison Prevention Week March 17-23, to raise
awareness of the dangers of unintentional poisonings, as well as steps
that can be taken to prevent accidental poisonings from occurring. Since
its inception in 1961, National Poison Prevention Week has focused on
preventing poisonings among children under five years of age.
Robert J. Geller, M.D., medical
director of the Georgia Poison Center and associate professor of pediatrics
with the Emory University School of Medicine, warns parents and others
that it is especially important to store chemicals in their proper containers,
and out of reach and out of sight of youngsters. "That means that kerosene
should not be stored in a soda pop bottle," Dr. Geller said, noting
that the Georgia Poison Center receives an average of 10,000 calls each
In addition, chemicals should
always be out of the reach of children, as should prescription medicines.
Medications should be taken promptly in accord with the prescribed schedules
and should not be allowed to sit around where children might have access
Dr. Geller also advises that
all chemicals, whether household cleaners or otherwise, should only
be used for the purpose for which they are intended.
"An insecticide that is safe
for your lawn may not be safe to use in your home," he warns. "In other
words, only use products that you understand well, and use them how
they're meant to be used. There are plenty of potentially dangerous
chemicals in your household. Use them cautiously and wisely."
Here are some other useful
tips from the Georgia Poison Center:
Store Poisons Safely
- Store poisons in locked cabinets out of the reach and sight of your
children and pets.
- Keep medicines and vitamins in bottles with child safety caps (child-resistant
packaging). Make sure the caps are on tight at all times.
Use Poisons Safely
- Before using a poison, read the label on the bottle.
- While you are using a poison, never leave it out where a child may
- After using a poison,
put it back in a locked cabinet. Make sure the bottle is closed tightly.
- Never call medicine "candy." Your child may eat the medicine thinking
it is candy.
- Do not take medicine in front of your child or give medicine to one
child while another is watching. Children are natural mimics. They may
be tempted to take the medicine later, when you are not around.
Know What To Do In A Poison
- Keep the telephone number of the Georgia Poison Center on or near
- If you think someone has been poisoned, call the Georgia Poison Center
In an emergency, contact
the Georgia Poison Center at (404) 616-9000, 24 hours a day, seven days
a week. For more information contact the center's Public Education staff
at (404) 616-9235 during normal business hours, or visit the Georgia
Poison Center web site at www.georgiapoisoncenter.org.