SALT LAKE CITY -- "Children Act Fast, So Do Poisons." is the theme for National Poison Prevention Week, March 20-26, 2005. The Utah Poison Control Center (UPCC) would like to take the opportunity to remind parents and caregivers that poisonings can be prevented. In 2004, the Utah Poison Control Center responded to over 50,000 calls, the majority of which were about actual potential poisonings. Over 60 percent of the potential poisoning exposures involved children under age 6. The top five substances that children in this age group are exposed to include: analgesics (pain relievers), cosmetics/personal care products, household cleaners, cough and cold preparations, and foreign bodies (i.e. toys, batteries, coins).

The UPCC urges caregivers to remember these basic poison prevention tips:

  • Use child-resistant closure on prescription and non-prescription medications.
  • Call the poison center immediately if you suspect a poisoning.
  • When using household chemical products and medicines, never let them out of your sight, even if you must take the child with you when answering the telephone or door.
  • Store all household products and medicines out of reach and out of sight of small children and pets.
  • Store all medicines separately from household products and household chemicals away from food.
  • Never store potential poisons in containers used for eating and drinking. Store all potential poisons in their original, labeled containers.
  • Always read the label before using and follow the instruction on medicines, cleaners, pesticides, automotive, lawn and garden products for their proper use. (Warning: First Aid instructions on product labels are often incorrect or dangerous.)
  • Don't put candles or decorative lamps that contain oil where children might reach them.
  • Always leave the light on when giving or taking medicine. Check the dosage each use.
  • Avoid taking medicine in front of children.
  • Never refer to medicine as candy.
  • Clean your medicine cabinet periodically, safely disposing of unneeded and outdated medicines.

The UPCC, which is part of the College of Pharmacy, has an active community outreach program. In 2004, representatives of the Utah Poison Control Center provided 126 community presentations and distributed more than 40,000 poison prevention education materials throughout the state of Utah. All materials bear the poison center toll-free number, so people know where to call in a poison emergency.

Contacting the UPCC is free and confidential. You will be automatically connected to specially trained pharmacists and nurses who will provide immediate treatment advice for all kinds of poison emergencies and answer questions about medicines, household products, and other potentially dangerous substances. The Utah Poison Control Center is accessible to those who are hearing-impaired and individuals needing assistance in languages other than English.

The UPCC is a 24-hour resource for poison information, clinical toxicology consultation, and poison prevention education. If you or someone you know has come in contact with a potential poison, call the nationwide toll-free hotline at 1-800-222-1222. Dialing this number from anywhere in Utah will put you in immediate contact with the Utah Poison Control Center.

Utahns also can find information at the UPCC's Web site: www.utahpoisoncontrol.org The Web site provides additional information about the Utah Poison Control Center, poison prevention education, statistics, and links to many other Web sites.

In the end, our mission is to prevent and minimize adverse health effects from a poison exposure through education, service, and research.

Video News Conference will be broadcast by satellite (C-Band) as follows:

Date: Tues., Mar. 15th, 2005
Time: 2:00 - 2:30pm
Coord: IA 5, Transponder 23
Downlink Freq: 4160 MHz
Audio: 6.2 & 6.8

OR

Date: Wed., Mar. 16th, 2005
Time: 10:30 - 11:00am
Coord: IA 6, Transponder 15
Downlink Freq: 4000 MHz
Audio: 6.2 & 6.8

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