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Utah Poison Control Center Celebrates National Poison Prevention Week

Author: Sherrie Pace

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Poison Control Center (UPCC) will join poison centers and safety advocates across the country in celebrating National Poison Prevention Week (NPPW), March 20-26, 2022. The week is dedicated to raising awareness about poisoning and highlighting ways to prevent poison exposures. During NPPW, UPCC wants to remind the public that while poisoning is the leading cause of unintentional injury death in the United States, we can all take steps to prevent poisonings. The UPCC manages over 40,000 poison cases each year. While over 50% of exposures in Utah involve children younger than 6 years of age, poisonings can happen to anyone at any age. The number one poison exposure for all ages in Utah is pain medication and most of these involve common drugs you can buy over-the-counter without a prescription. “Calling the poison control center quickly puts you in touch with a pharmacist or nurse who will help with your specific situation,” said Amberly Johnson, UPCC Director. “In a poison emergency, don’t waste valuable time searching online for answers that could be incorrect or even dangerous. The poison center provides free, expert, and confidential medical advice anytime day or night.” The poison center also provides educational outreach to inform the public about poison dangers and ways to prevent a poisoning. “It is vital that people take steps to prevent poisonings. Making poison safety a year-round priority will go a long way in helping to decrease poison exposures,” Johnson said. To help prevent poisonings, UPCC offers the following recommendations:

  • Be prepared for an emergency. Keep the poison control 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. Always store medicines and hazardous products up and away from children. Keep them in their original, child resistant containers.
  • Read and follow 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 #NPPW22. 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.

Sherrie Pace