Poison Control and Ingestion Safety
March is National Poison Prevention Month, and this is a great reminder to familiarize yourself with Poison Control and safety interventions to help keep your loved ones safe. The goal of this campaign is to raise awareness around the multiple different ways a potential ingestion could happen, and how to be prepared in case of this emergency.
WHAT IS POISON CONTROL?
Poison Control Centers offer free, confidential services for possible ingestion 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Poison Control Centers answer close to 3 million calls every year, with one call happening every 15 seconds! Poison centers are staffed by pharmacists, physicians, nurses and poison information providers who are toxicology specialists. These poison control centers also track emerging trends of hazardous ingestions.
HOW TO CONTACT
In case of emergency of ingestion, contact the Poison Control Center immediately, using one of the following methods:
Poison Control Help Hotline:
Be proactive and prepared for an emergency by Texting POISON to 797979 to automatically save the Contact Info for Poison Control in your phone! Also, print the Poison Control Hotline phone number and store it on the front of your fridge so it is easily accessible in case of an emergency.
CURRENT TRENDS OF INGESTION
Poison Control Centers also track emerging trends of ingestion and alert the public if any of these trends are rising and cause for concern. Some trends are more common amongst different age groups as well, which is important information for parents. The current rising trends of ingestion found for 2019 are as follows:
• E-Cigarettes: There continues to be an increased concern this liquid nicotine.
• Hand Sanitizers: Hand Sanitizers range from 45-95% alcohol, and children who ingest even a small amount can be at risk for alcohol poisoning.
• Single load Laundry Detergent Pods: Mistaken as candy in younger children; Also used in a viral dare game that includes ingestion amongst teens that can potentially be fatal.
• Synthetic Cannabinoids: Side effects of use of this are psychotic episodes and seizures.
• CBD oil: Use of CBD oil is rapidly on the rise across all ages.
• Opiods/Narcotic pain medication: Opioid ingestion continues to rise year after year.
About 90% of accidental ingestions occur inside the home each year. Help keep your family safe and poison-free with these tips:
Make sure all household cleaners and laundry detergents/pods are out of reach from children.
Educate older children about the hazards of E-cigarettes, CBD oil, and Synthetic Cannabinoids.
Secure all opioids and narcotic medication away in a child resistant locked area; and safely dispose of all expired medications.
Safety proof your household with safety locks on all potentially harmful areas.
Periodically inspect these areas to make sure they are still secure over time and use.
IN CASE OF INGESTION OR POISONING
Take immediate action and call Poison Control ASAP if ingestion is suspected- don’t wait for signs of poisoning to be present in order to call.
Stay calm, and try not to panic.
Try to have the container of the potential product that was ingested- the label can hold vital information.
Call 911 if the person is having trouble breathing.