This last week was the 50th annual National Poison Prevention Week: March 18th through March 24th.
Of all the injuries people get in the United States poisoning is a major cause of death.
In all countries and communities we must still be vigilant in preventing poisons.
In order to provide awareness, prevention strategies, and intervention measures, Healthy Habits has joined the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) in providing to our readers insight of the dangers of poisoning, especially to children.
Poison Control and Prevention
There are 57 poison control centers in the U.S. In 2011, they received over 4 million calls and treated over 2.4 million human poison exposures.
Healthy Habits, the EPA, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention are urging all of us, especially caregivers and parents, to take preventive measures and avoid unnecessary poison exposure.
There are over 150,000 calls to poison centers regarding poisons from disinfectant and pesticide products.
More than half of the pesticide exposures were to children 5 years old or younger.
In addition, cosmetics, creams, personal care products, medications, cleaning products and foreign objects add up to the top five most common exposures.
A healthy habits precautionary measure is to lock your household cleaning products, pesticides, and other products that contain toxins in cabinets that are out of the reach of children.
The World Health Organization also has a directory of poison control centers in many countries around the world. The following is a link to list of phone numbers and addresses for poison controls centers in specific countries: World directory of poison centres
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) offers a 24 hour, 365 day animal poison-related assistance at their toll-free number: (888) 426-4435.
Here’s what you can do to prevent exposure to poisons:
- When you’re using products, never leave products unattended
- Use products that are the safest and those that contain have the following label: Design for the Environment (DfE)
- Keep the Poison Control Centers’ National Helpline by your phone: 1-800-222-1222
- Never use pesticides that are illegal and a danger to public health (like Tres Pasitos or unregistered Insecticidal Chalk)
- Look for products that have an EPA Registration ID number on the label: (for example: EPA Reg. No 500-123456)
- Always re-close products you’re using when interrupted (phone calls, doorbell, etc.)
- Always use child-resistant packaging when possible and close them tightly after use
- Remove toys, pets, and children when applying pesticides in your home or outdoors. Know when it’s safe for pets and children to re-enter an area by following the directions on the label
Please join us in inspiring action and sharing our knowledge of dangers others may not be aware of.
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