News Release

March 13, 2007

Contact: Jane Shaskan, 860-679-4777

Gov. M. Jodi Rell Proclaims March 18-24 Poison Prevention Week

FARMINGTON, CONN. – Each year parents and other adults who care for children are reminded of the Poison Prevention Week Council’s annual theme “children act fact and so do poisons.”

A good example of fact action is the case of the three-year old who ingested about 50 of his mother’s pills for treating a thyroid condition. Mom quickly realized what happened and called the Connecticut Poison Control Center at UConn Health Center. She was advised to take her son to the nearest hospital. “It was a toxic amount, not necessarily life-threatening, but the boy needed to go to an emergency room for treatment,” said Kathy Roche, the poison information specialist who took the call.

After treatment at the hospital the boy was sent home the same day, but symptoms from this particular medication can occur anywhere from two to 11 days later, Roche explained. The boy had his ups-and-downs, experiencing increased heart rate, hyperactivity and fever, but the symptoms were treatable and not unusual for the type of drug he ingested, she says.

The boy’s parents were supported by the pediatrician and the poison center for about three weeks after the incident. “Someone from the poison center kept in touch with the doctor and talked with one of the parents almost every day for three weeks,” said Roche. “They were very comfortable calling us, and we were glad to offer advice and support.”

Poisoning can happen to anyone, anytime and any place, says toxicologist Bernard Sangalli, administrative director at the center. However, about 60 percent of calls to the Connecticut Poison Control Center are about children. “Most calls involve young children who have gotten into medications or personal care and household products. But we also receive seasonal calls, such as carbon monoxide exposures in the cold weather months, and bites and stings in the warm weather months,” says Sangalli. “Sometimes simple advice is all that’s needed and other times medical intervention is critical. Poison prevention specialists can explain the right course of action.”

Gov. M Jodi Rell has proclaimed March 18 through 24, 2007 as Poison Prevention Week in Connecticut. National Poison Prevention Week was signed into law September 16, 1961 by President John F. Kennedy to raise awareness of the dangers of unintentional poisonings and advance preventive measures. The nationwide emergency hotline is staffed 24-hours a day, seven days a week. If you suspect a poisoning, don’t wait to see what happens, call 1-800-222-1222.

Visit Connecticut Poison Control Center’s website at for emergency poison information, tips on how you can poison-proof your home, and more.

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