According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, 91 percent of human poisonings occur at home and are caused by common household products such as medications, cleaners and personal care products. In support of a national initiative to decrease unnecessary household poisonings, Gov. Kate Brown has proclaimed March 20-26 Poison Prevention Week in Oregon.
In recognition of this important observance, the Oregon Poison Center at Oregon Health & Science University is sharing the following tips to help keep you and your loved ones safe:
- Properly store and dispose of medicines and household cleaners
- Keep medicines and cleaners out of reach in high cabinets, or in cabinets with properly installed child-resistant latches.
- Thoroughly clean up after working around the house, car or garden, and carefully dispose of leftover cleaners, sprays and kerosene right away.
- Contact your local pharmacist to appropriately dispose of expired medications.
- Opt for child-resistant packaging
- When purchasing medicines and household cleaning products, choose options with child-resistant caps.
- It is important to remember that child-resistant does not mean childproof. Therefore, proper storage of medicine and household cleaners is imperative.
- Keep marijuana products out of sight
- All marijuana products, medicinal or recreational, should be locked up and kept away from children. This is especially important with marijuana edibles because they are easily mistaken for regular baked goods or candy.
- Educate your family about various marijuana products, even if you do not use them. A friend or neighbor may inadvertently leave their belongings within a child’s reach.
- Contact the Oregon Poison Center
- If you believe you, or a loved one, may have come in contact with a poisonous substance, immediately contact the Oregon Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222.
“Accidental poisonings and medicine mishaps can happen to anyone, anywhere, and at any time. The good news is that many of these instances are preventable by simply taking a few extra precautions to protect your friends and family members from unnecessary exposure,” said Fiorella Carhuaz, public educator, Oregon Poison Center at OHSU.
In addition to these tips, the Oregon Poison Center will release a series of free online resources throughout Poison Prevention Week to help further educate community members about medicine safety for children, teens and adults; household safety; and the benefits of utilizing national poison center services. The Tom Sargent Safety Center at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital also will display poison prevention information during the week. For additional information about Poison Prevention Week events and resources, please visit www.oregonpoison.org.
National Poison Prevention Week, established in 1961 by the United States Congress, is dedicated to raising awareness about poisoning in the U.S, and highlighting specific ways to prevent it.
About The Oregon Poison Center
The Oregon Poison Center at OHSU provides 24-hour emergency treatment information for people experiencing a poisoning or toxic exposure. Call the poison center at 1 800-222-1222 for all poison emergencies and questions.