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Poison Prevention and Control

Poison PreventionThis 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 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.

Healthy Habits Poison Prevention and Control

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.

About the author: George Zapo is certified in Public Health Promotion and Education (Kent State University). George provides informative articles promoting healthy behavior and lifestyles.

2 comments… add one
  • Tina Bosela


    Great article! Thanks for providing us the information on what we should look for when purchasing home products and who we should call in case we, our children, or pets happen to digest poisons.

    Thanks again,


    • Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on this material, Tina!

      I hope you never have to use the emergency hotline; however, it’s a good idea to be prepared.

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