Connecticut Poison Control Joins National Outreach Effort

The Connecticut Poison Control Center once again is promoting the themes of National Poison Prevention Week, March 17-23.

Each weekday has its own message (details below). The Connecticut Poison Control Center Facebook page will post new information each day, and on Wednesday, March 20, at 8 p.m., will offer a live chat with a certified poison information specialist.

“We invite Connecticut residents to join us on Facebook with their questions about poisons and overdose,” says Connecticut Poison Control Center community education specialist Amy Hanoian Fontana. “Maybe you’ve heard about the dangers of bath salts on TV, but don’t know what they are. Or you’ve always wanted to know the truth about poinsettias, or you’re not sure what your risk of lead poisoning is.”

Health care professionals and the public can call the Poison Control Center any time, day or night, at 1-800-222-1222 to report poisonings and get immediate treatment advice from poison specialists.

Value of Poison Centers

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Monday, March 18: Children Act Fast … So Do Poisons

  • Children younger than 6 account for about half of the calls placed to poison centers about poison exposures.
  • When it comes to poison prevention, child-resistant is not child-proof. Layer the protection: re-seal and lock up, out of sight and reach.
  • Tell children what medicine is and why you must be the one to give it to them. Never call medicine “candy” to get them to take it.

Tuesday, March 19: Poison Centers: Saving You Time and Money

  • Poison centers offer some of the best health value around: free, fast, confidential, expert medical advice 24 hours a day, every day of the year with just one phone call.
  • More than 90 percent of cases from the general public can be managed without referral to the ER, avoiding the hospital. How’s that for a time-saver?
  • U.S. poison centers answer millions of calls each year. Most calls come from the public, but did you know that doctors and nurses also call us for treatment advice?
  • The poison center system saves the nation $1.8 billion each year by keeping people out of the hospitals, getting them back to work sooner, and by encouraging safety and prevention.

Wednesday, March 20: Poisonings Span a Lifetime

  • Poison prevention is for everyone, from babies to seniors and everyone in between.
  • Poisoning is a big deal! Poisoning is the leading cause of injury death in Connecticut, surpassing motor vehicle crashes.
  • Most calls to poison centers are about children, but most people who die from poisons are adults. Poisoning is a danger for all of us.

Thursday, March 21: Home, Safe Home

  • More than 90 percent of poisonings happen in people’s homes, mainly in the kitchen, bathroom and bedroom.
  • Never store household and garden chemicals in food containers like cups or bottles.
  • Are your carbon monoxide detectors working? Test them every six months and put in fresh batteries.
  • Swallowing a button battery can be deadly for a child. Call your local poison center right away if a battery is missing from a toy or other household item.

Friday, March 22: Spotlight on Prescription Painkillers

  • The FDA is calling prescription drug abuse an “epidemic.” Prescription painkillers are responsible for a lot of the addiction and abuse.
  • Be aware of the dangers these drugs can pose. Never change your dose without talking to your doctor first.
  • Using these drugs without a doctor’s prescription can be deadly, even the first time using them.
  • Prescription painkiller abuse does not draw boundaries. This epidemic hits the young and old, men and women, and all income levels. Learn more here.

Source: American Association of Poison Control Centers


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