House Call: Poison Prevention Pt. 2

Published: Mar. 29, 2021 at 11:28 AM EDT
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Most accidental poisonings involve children under 6 years of age and occur in the home. March is Poison Prevention Awareness Month and this week marks National Poison Prevention Week. Joining us tonight for part two of our special series on poison prevention is Dr. Eleni Kitsos, Pediatrician with Bridgeport Pediatrics.

1). Why is awareness so key when it comes to poison prevention?

More than 2 million poisonings are reported each year to the Nation’s poison control centers. Ninety-three percent of poisonings happen at home, and 45 percent of poisonings involve children under the age of 6.

By educating local residents about preventative steps in the home and in their lives, we can make serious progress in keeping our loved ones safe. It is vital that people arm themselves with basic information on poison prevention. Such as keeping chemicals out of the reach of children and carefully reading the labels and dosages on all products.

To learn more about ways to keep people of all ages safe and help prevent poisonings, visit the Poison Help website at

2). Why are so many poisonings related to children?

· Children under age 6 are carefree and learn by exploring the world around them. What children see and can reach, they often put in their mouths. Parents and other caregivers should teach children not to put objects in their mouths.

· Children are commonly poisoned through painkillers, cosmetics, personal care or cleaning products, pest killers, and plants. Preteens through older adults are commonly poisoned through herbal products, prescription drugs, alcohol, over-the-counter medicines, and spoiled food.

3). What should you do if you think someone has been poisoned?

You want to remember to:

1. Keep Calm, Help is as near as your phone. Keeping calm will help you understand the advice and help the victim.

2. Check the condition of the victim. Call 911 right away if the person: • has collapsed (is unconscious) • has severe pain in the chest • is having trouble breathing • shows other life-threatening signs

3. Call Poison Help (1-800-222-1222) even if there are no signs of poisoning. Try to identify what poison is involved. If it is a product, bring its container to the phone.

4. A nurse, pharmacist, or other poison expert will answer your call to Poison Help. Be ready to tell the person: • the name of the product • the age and weight of the victim • the amount of product involved • what signs of poisoning you notice

5. A poison expert will decide if the person is in danger. The poison expert will give you the advice you need. The poison control center may stay on the phone with you while you get help, or call you later to follow up.

6. Most calls can be handled at home. If you need a doctor or ambulance, the poison expert will tell you right away

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