"Children Act Fast, So Do Poisons" is the theme for National Poison Prevention Week March 16-22. It's a familiar refrain to staff at the Utah Poison Control Center (UPCC), who last year handled nearly 37,000 reports of poison exposures. More than 60 percent of those incidents involved children under age six.

"Of all the injuries that occur in the home, poisonings are among the most preventable," said Poison Control Center Director Barbara Insley Crouch, Pharm.D., M.S.P.H. "Last year our center safely and effectively managed 90 percent of the emergency calls for children at their homes - without having to refer them to a doctor or emergency room."

Parents are reminded during National Poison Prevention Week to keep household chemicals and medicines stored away from children at all times. "Many parents don't realize how many things in the home are potentially deadly," said Utah SAFE KIDS Coalition chair Janet Brooks. "Things like vitamins, toothpaste and even mouthwash are very tempting to young children" said Brooks, "but they're poison."

If you suspect your child has swallowed a potential poison, call the Utah Poison Control Center at its new national toll-free number-1-800-222-1222. The number works anywhere in the country and connects the caller to the nearest local poison control center.

The UPCC is a 24-hour resource for poison information, clinical toxicology consultation and poison prevention. The UPCC was established in 1971 as a program of the University of Utah College of Pharmacy and a cooperative public service of the Utah Department of Health and the University of Utah Health Sciences Center.

The Utah SAFE KIDS Coalition and the Utah Poison Control Center work together to educate parents and children about the potential dangers of poison, reminding parents that poison injuries and deaths are preventable.

For more information, call The Utah Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.