Author: Sherrie Pace
SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Poison Control Center (UPCC) will join poison centers and poison prevention partners across the country in celebrating the 57th annual National Poison Prevention Week (NPPW), March 17-23, 2019. The week is dedicated to raising awareness about poisoning and highlighting ways to prevent it. During NPPW, UPCC wants to remind the public that while poisoning is the leading cause of unintentional injury death in the United States, many poisonings are preventable.
The UPCC managed over 43,000 poison calls last year alone. While 60% of exposures in Utah involve children younger than 6 years of age, poisonings can happen at any age. If you think you or a loved one may have been exposed to a poison, do not hesitate to call for help. “Calling the poison control center is free and confidential, said Barbara Insley Crouch, UPCC Executive Director. “When you call, you will speak directly with a health care professional who is experienced in managing poison exposures. Don’t waste valuable time searching the internet for answers”. Calls to UPCC are answered by specially trained nurses, pharmacists, and physicians who provide timely and accurate medical advice 24 hours a day.
In addition to lifesaving services, the poison center also provides educational outreach to inform the public about the dangers of poisons and ways to prevent a poisoning. “Poison safety is a year-round responsibility. It is vital that people implement poison prevention strategies in the home and the workplace”, Crouch said. To help prevent poisonings, UPCC offers the following recommendations:
- Be prepared for an emergency. Keep the national, Poison Help phone number at your
fingertips by saving it in your cell phone. Save the number…save a life. 1-800-222-1222
- Practice safe storage habits. Always store medicines and hazardous substances up
and away from children. Keep these substances in their original, child-resistant
- Read and follow all labels and directions. Review medicine and product labels before
using them, especially before giving medicine to children.
- Detect invisible threats. Have a working carbon monoxide detector in your home.
The UPCC has a variety of poison prevention tools to help keep you and your family safe. Visit the UPCC website to access resources for all ages. Follow NPPW on social media at #PoisonHelp, #PreventPoison, and #NPPW19. Connect with UPCC on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram @utahpoison during NPPW and throughout the year for messages, alerts, and tips.
ABOUT THE UTAH POISON CONTROL CENTER
The UPCC is a 24-hour resource for poison information, clinical toxicology consultation, and poison prevention education. The UPCC is a program of the State of Utah and is administratively housed in the University of Utah, College of Pharmacy. The UPCC is nationally certified as a regional poison control center.