Monday 20 March 2017

National Poison Prevention Week

In recognition of National Poison Prevention Week (March 19-25), the National Capital Poison Center urges all parents to take 2 minutes to learn how to prevent and respond to a poison emergency. More than a million poison exposures occur every year in U.S. children younger than 6 years.

“There are two ways to get free, confidential, expert help if a poisoning occurs”, says Dr. Toby Litovitz, MD, Director of the National Capital Poison Center.

There’s no need to memorize that contact info. The National Capital Poison Center provides a new “text-to-save” functionality. Text “poison” to 484848 (don’t type the quotes) to save the contact info directly to your smart phone (standard text messaging rates apply).

You can also download the vcard at Litovitz: “Share that vcard info with babysitters, grandparents, family and friends“.

“Here are 6 important ways to keep your home poison safe”, continues Dr. Litovitz:
  1. Up, up and away! Keep medications and poisonous household products out of your child’s sight and reach. Locked up is best.
  2. Avoid container transfer. Some of the most devastating poisonings occur when toxic products are poured into food or beverage containers, then mistaken for food or drink.
  3. Read the label and follow the directions. Misusing products has dire consequences.
  4. Use child-resistant packaging. It’s not child-proof, but so much better than nothing. Sorry it’s inconvenient, but using it could save a life.
  5. Keep button batteries away from children. Swallowed batteries can burn through your child’s esophagus and cause permanent injury or even death.
  6. Keep laundry pods out of your child’s reach. They are as toxic as they are colorful and squishy.
Need more prevention reminders? Text “poison” to 22828 to subscribe to The Poison Post® for free, quarterly poison prevention updates by email. Or go to for more tips.

About the National Capital Poison Center

The National Capital Poison Center is an independent, not-for-profit organization and an accredited poison center. Its nurse and pharmacist Certified Specialists in Poison Information provide 24/7 telephone guidance for poison emergencies, free of charge. It also provides online guidance for poison emergencies through the webPOISONCONTROL® tool, health professional education in toxicology, and poison prevention education. Service focuses on the metro DC area with a national scope for projects such as webPOISONCONTROL, the National Battery Ingestion Hotline (202-625-3333), and The Poison Post®.

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