March 19-25, 2017 is known as National Poison Prevention Week. The first NPPW was observed in March 1962 after President John F. Kennedy passed a joint resolution through Congress proclaiming a week of poison awareness and prevention for American citizens.
According to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), there are over 35,000 deaths each year which are caused from poisoning. Nearly 700,000 drug-related poisonings result in visits to emergency rooms each year.
Top causes of poisoning
- Cleaners found around the house
- Makeup or personal hygiene products
- Sedatives and antipsychotic medications
- Toys and foreign objects
Who could be a victim of poisoning?
According to the HRSA, children under six years of age account for 50% of all poisonings each year. The reason being, they are curious and get into things that they shouldn’t, such as household cleaners, medications, cosmetics or foreign objects.
What can I do if I think someone has been poisoned?
If the individual is unconscious or can’t breathe, call 911 immediately. If you are worried someone has been poisoned, but they are not yet showing warning signs of a problem, contact the Poison Help Line at 1-800-222-1222. There is also an app from Poison Help that can be downloaded to your smart phone.