SALT LAKE CITY -- "Children Act Fast, So Do Poisons." is the theme for National Poison Prevention Week, March 19-25, 2005. This week was set aside by Congress in 1961 to encourage Americans to learn more about the dangers on unintentional poisonings and to take appropriate preventative measures. The Utah Poison Control Center (UPCC) would like to take the opportunity to remind parents and caregivers that poisonings can be prevented. In 2005, the Utah Poison Control Center responded to over 54,000 calls. Over 60 percent of the poison exposures involved children under age 6. The top five substances involved in poison exposures in Utah include: analgesics (pain relievers), household cleaning substances, cosmetics & personal care products, topicals, and cough and cold preparations.

Poisonings are not just a childhood concern. Adults over the age of 19 accounted for over 11,000 calls to the UPCC last year. The UPCC urges everyone to remember these basic poison prevention tips:

  • Call the poison center immediately if you suspect a poisoning.
  • Use child-resistant closures on prescription and non-prescription medications.
  • When using household chemical products and medicines, never leave them unattended, 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 may be incorrect.)
  • Always leave the light on when giving or taking medicine. Check the dosage each use.
  • Avoid taking medicine in front of children.
  • The same medicines that let older adults live active and healthy lives can be deadly to young children. That is why it’s important to keep poisons out of sight and locked up.
  • Never refer to medicine as candy.
  • Clean your medicine cabinet periodically, safely disposing of unneeded and outdated medicines.

The UPCC, a program of the University of Utah College of Pharmacy, has an active community outreach program. In 2005, representatives of the Utah Poison Control Center provided 128 community presentations and distributed more than 38,000 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.

Information can also be found on the UPCC’s website: www.utahpoisoncontrol.org. The website provides additional information about the Utah Poison Control Center, poison prevention education, statistics, and links to 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: Thurs., Mar. 16th, 2006
Time: 2:30 - 3:00pm ET
Coord: IA 5/7
Downlink Freq: 3840 V
Audio: 6.2 & 6.8

OR

Date: Fri., Mar. 17th, 2006
Time: 10:30 - 11:00am ET
Coord: IA 5/23
Downlink Freq: 4160 V
Audio: 6.2 & 6.8

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