#PreventPoison: Poison Prevention Week

Poison prevention

Back in 2011, an approximate of more than a 1 million calls to the poison help number involved children under the age of 6. Every 9 out of 10 those reported poisonings occurred at home. Furthermore, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that in 2013 poison centers managed 3 million cases that 51% of the reported poisonings happened to children under the age of 12, while teens were the 8%, and adults were the 41%.  Poisoning is the leading cause of injury-related death in America, regardless of age, with over 40.000 casualties. Such numbers illustrate quite clearly the monumental importance of spreading the message of awareness of poison prevention.

This coming March 15 will kick-off National Poison Prevention Week, set always of the third week in March each year. This special week has the goal of raising awareness of the many dangers and hazards of poisonings and what can we do to prevent such occurrences. Discount Medical Supplies is happy to join the fight to help prevent poisonings, and spread awareness. This initiative that has been active since 1961, is a noble cause that seeks safer households for young and old. It invites the general public to get informed of the proper ways to prevent poisonings and the adequate ways to handle the events of a possible poisoning case. We here at DMS, would like to share with our readers some of this vital information.

According to the stats, many of the reported cases for poisoning happen at home. By following certain basic safety tips, we can help create a much safer environment against poison.

  • Keep all poisonous products and items away out of reach and use safety locks.
  • Many times we make the mistake of keeping cleaning solutions within reach and at plain sight of young children, by storing them under kitchen and bathroom sinks. It is best to keep them on locked cabinets.
  • Read the labels of the products you purchase and see which are labeled as hazardous. Many regular use household items are dangerous and ingesting them might by harmful. 
  • Keep locked away adult medications and vitamins, away from the sight of children.
  • Remove paint that might be peeling away, as they might have been painted with lead-base paint. Also, make sure that any surfaces that children might chew on are not painted with lead-based paint.
  • In case of handling potentially poisonous substances, use the necessary protection gear such as gogles, masks and gloves. You can’t never be too sure.
  • Keep the number for the National Poison Control Center at hand. 1-800-222-1222

Moreover, sites like PoisonPrevention.org among others have several and more detailed information on ways to prevent poisonings on adults and children. In case of poisoning, the very first thing that must be done is contact the National Poison Control Center or 911. Get rid or eliminate of any of the unabsorbed poison before it can do any harm. The emergency operators will give you the instructions needed, contrary to popular belief, do not try to induce vomit or give syrup of Ipecac.  The American Association of Poison Control Centers and the American Academy of Pediatrics have strongly recommended that Syrup of Ipecac to not even be kept at home as it has been proven that it can do more harm than good on a poison victim.

When tending to a person who is going through poisoning, while you wait for help to arrive, there are several crucial things that can be done on the meantime. If the person was exposed to fumes that are poisonous, get him or her to fresh air immediately.  If the poison came in contact with the persons clothing, skins or eyes, use warm water to help flush any remaining poison, if necessary use the shower. Also, make sure that the person is breathing and when help arrives, if possible provide them with the container the poison came in.

There are many conditions that can be often confused as poisonings (strokes, insulin reactions, intoxications and seizures), which is why it is important to be well informed on the different symptoms of poisoning:

  • Redness around the lips
  • Smell of chemicals in the patients breath
  • Odors, Stains and Burns
  • Vomiting, difficulty breathing, confusion, sleepiness

Prevention against poison starts at home. Educate your children about the danger and how to respond in case of an emergency. By helping raise awareness on the hazards of poison, we can help keep each other safe. Use the hashtag #preventpoison, to make your voice heard.