The National Safety Council (NSC) reports more than 90% of all poisonings happen at home. Cosmetics and personal care products lead the list of most common substances implicated in pediatric poison exposures.
According to the most recent data from the NSC, one poison exposure was reported to U.S. poison control centers every 15 seconds in 2020.
As part of National Poison Prevention Week, March 19-25, HSHS Sacred Heart and St Joseph’s hospitals remind you about the dangers of potentially poisonous medicines and chemicals and shares tips on how to keep your loved ones safe.
“In the emergency department, we treat accidental poison consumptions that can range from children swallowing soap or cleaning products to adults taking an unadvised dosage of certain medicines,” said Tyler Bowe, HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals’ trauma coordinator. “It’s important to keep any potentially harmful products out of the reach of children and read labels carefully before taking any medications.”
If you encounter someone who was potentially exposed to poisonous substances:
1. Call 911 if they are unconscious or having difficulty breathing.
2. Remain calm.
· Most poison emergencies can be resolved quickly over the phone.
3. Contact the Poison Control helpline.
· Online help is available at poison.org or by phone at 1-800-222-1222. Both options are free, confidential and staffed by experts.