The American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) will unite with the nation’s 55 poison centers to celebrate the 55th Annual National Poison Prevention Week (NPPW), March 19-25, 2017, a week dedicated to raising awareness about poisoning in the U.S. and highlighting specific ways to prevent it.
“From medication mishaps to poisonous outdoor exposures, poisonings can happen anywhere, at any time, and to anyone,” said Stephen T. Kaminski, JD, AAPCC CEO and Executive Director. “During National Poisoning Prevention Week, poison centers want to remind the public that while poisoning is the leading cause of injury death in the United States, many poisonings are preventable, and expert help is always just a phone call away.”
AAPCC also proudly participates in the National Poisoning Prevention Council, a group of representatives from a diverse array of stakeholder organizations and the official sponsor of NPPW. The Council has established the following overarching themes of National Poison Prevention Week: Children Act Fast; So Do Poisons and Poisonings Span a Lifetime. Additionally, the following daily themes will be observed during the week:
Monday, March 20 – Children Act Fast, So Do Poisons
Tuesday, March 21 – Poison Centers: Saving You Time and Money
Wednesday, March 22 – Poisonings Span a Lifetime
Thursday, March 23 – Home, Safe Home
Friday, March 24 – Medication Safety
TIPS TO PREVENT POISONINGS
Be prepared for an emergency. Keep the national, free Poison Helpline number at your fingertips by saving the number in your mobile phone: 1-800-222-1222.
Call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you think someone has been poisoned, call us at 1-800-222-1222 right away.
Do not wait for the victim to look or feel sick. Do not try to treat the person yourself.
- Practice safe storage habits.
- Always store medicines and hazardous substances up, away, and out of sight of children.
- Keep these substances in their original, child resistant containers.
- Read and follow all labels and directions. Review medicine and product labels before you use them, especially before giving medicine to children.
- Detect invisible threats. Have a working carbon monoxide detector in your home
The National Poisoning Prevention Council (“the Council”) is the official sponsor of National Poison Prevention Week. The Council is a group of representatives from government and nonprofit organizations that have an interest in the prevention of unintentional poisoning through raising awareness and promoting poisoning prevention public education.
While most poisoning deaths are due to the misuse and abuse of licit and illicit drugs, poison exposures can involve a vast array of substances and occur in many ways. In 2015, around 57 percent of all exposure cases involved pharmaceuticals. Other exposures were to household products, plants, mushrooms, pesticides, animal bites and stings, carbon monoxide, and many other types of non-pharmaceutical substances. Ingestion was the route of exposure in almost 84 percent of the cases in 2015. However, people were also exposed to potentially dangerous substances through the lungs, skin, eyes, and other routes.
In 2015 someone called the poison center about a human exposure every 14.5 seconds. “Approximately 67 percent of the 2.2 million exposure cases reported to poison centers in 2015 were treated at the exposure site, saving American taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars in medical expenses,” said Kaminski. “Our nation’s poison control system continues to play a crucial role in keeping Americans safe. By programming the Poison Help phone number, 1 (800) 222-1222, into your phone and posting it somewhere visible in your home, you can be ready in the event of a poison emergency or if you or your loved ones need information.”
For additional information on National Poison Prevention Week, along with poison prevention tips and resources, visit AAPCC’s National Poison Prevention Week webpage at: http://www.aapcc.org/prevention/nppw/.