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 59th annual National Poison Prevention Week (NPPW), March 21-27, 2021. 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 manages about 40,000 poison cases each year. While approximately 60% of exposures in Utah involve children younger than 6 years of age, poisonings can happen to anyone at any age. The number one poisoning for all ages in Utah is pain medication and following close behind are household chemicals which have increased due to the COVID-19 pandemic as people may be using disinfectants, cleaners and hand sanitizer more often. "Calling the Poison Control Center is free and confidential. When you call, you will speak directly with a toxicology expert," said Amberly Johnson, UPCC Director. “Don't waste valuable time searching online. The poison center provides accurate and timely medical advice anytime, day or night."
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. “It is vital that people make poison safety a year-round priority. Taking steps to prevent poisonings will go a long way in helping to decrease poison exposures in the home and the workplace," Johnson said. To help prevent poisonings, UPCC offers the following recommendations:
- Be prepared for an emergency. Keep the poison control 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 instructions on prescription and over-the-counter medicine and on all product labels before using them.
- 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 #NPPW21. Connect with UPCC on Facebook, YouTube, 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.