Last week (March 19th-25th) was National Poison Prevention Week. In 2015 the American Association of Poison Control Centers received 2.2 million calls in which an individual had come into contact with a dangerous substance. The great thing about America’s poison control centers is that they provide free, around the clock, professional medical advice, making it possible to act quickly to treat a poisoning, and avoid expensive healthcare bills. Their services are accessible by calling 1-800-222-1222 or by visiting www.poisonhelp.org.
The poison control center is not only there to help in emergencies, they also work hard to prevent poisonings in your home and community. Check out these tips to protect you and your family from poisoning in all aspects of life:
- Be sure to wash your hands and all surfaces and utensils between each use, and especially after preparing uncooked food.
- Keep meat and eggs in their own storage location (such as a refrigerator drawer) and do not thaw frozen meats on the counter. Instead, use the microwave or cold water.
- Do your best to always keep hot food hot and cold food cold, checking to make sure that your food is out of the danger zone, between 40°F and 140°F.
- Measure the temperature of your meat when cooking to make sure that it gets hot enough to kill bacteria and that it is fully cooked.
- Store food within 2 hours of cooking, and completely cover the food to keep out bacteria.
- Post the Poison Help number (1-800-222-1222) in an easily accessible place such as a bulletin board or on the fridge, and also consider saving it in your phone in case of an emergency.
- Be sure to read the instructions on any cleaning supplies or other dangerous substances to be sure that you are using these substances correctly.
- Make an effort to store all of the following in areas that are out of reach of children, or in a child locked cabinet:
- Medicines, vitamins, supplements
- Tobacco products and alcohol
- Laundry and cleaning supplies
- Bug spray and pesticides
- Oil or lubricant
- Other chemicals
- Also be sure to install a carbon monoxide detector in your home.
Following these simple tips will help to keep you and your family safe. More information about poison prevention can be found on the American Association for Poison Control Centers website: www.aapcc.org.
American Association of Poison Control Centers. (2017). Retrieved from http://www.aapcc.org/