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Poison Help: 1-800-222-1222Check out the new Connecticut Poison Control Center website where you’ll find the latest news about product recalls, downloadable poison prevention materials, an interactive section for children, and information specifically tailored for health care professionals.

Feature Story

Health Center Today, March 17, 2011

Children Act Fast – So Do Poisons: National Poison Prevention Week Is March 20 to 26

By Carolyn Pennington

More than 1.2 million children ages 5 and under are unintentionally poisoned each year.  Whether it's medication on your dresser, cleaning supplies under your kitchen sink, or cosmetics in your bathroom, you can take simple steps to keep your kids safe.

"As we mark Poison Prevention Week March 20 to 26, it’s important to think like a kid," says Amy Hanoian-Fontana, community education specialist at the Connecticut Poison Control Center located at the UConn Health Center. "Get on their level so you can see what they can see, what they can reach and what they may be tempted to put in their mouths."

The 57 poison control centers across the country take more than 4.3 million calls yearly. That is one call every eight seconds. The American Association of Poison Control Centers says approximately 90 percent of poisonings happen at home and more than half of poisoning exposures involve children under the age of six.

"Poison proof your home by storing potentially poisonous household products out of your child’s sight and reach," says Hanoian-Fontana. "And lock up all prescription and over-the-counter medications, as well as herbal and natural supplements."

Adults are at risk too. While adults make up less than half of all calls to poison centers they account for 90 percent of poisoning deaths. "It is just as important for adults to keep our number handy," says Hanoian-Fontana. "Why not celebrate National Poison Prevention Week by programming it into your cell phone?"

Poison Control Centers Launch Smartphone Application

By calling 1-800-222-1222 you reach professionals who offer fast and free confidential help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And soon you’ll be able to connect with your poison center with the touch of a button.

The American Association of Poison Control Centers will soon release free smartphone apps. The app will allow users to click on the Poison Help logo to contact poison centers. It will also offer poison prevention tips and connect users with the American Association of Poison Control Center’s website.

The first app available will be the iPhone, with Blackberry, Droid and Windows 7 apps to follow.