This March is Poison Prevention Week
February 24, 2020
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 87 people die from unintentional poisoning every day. This March 15th to 21st is Poison Prevention Week, an annual awareness campaign that has been observed for nearly 60 years. The campaign intends to remind Americans that some of the most hazardous and deadly items are inside our own homes…even though we may not know it.
The CDC reports that more than 300 children between the ages of 0 and 19-years-old are treated in emergency medical departments every day for poisoning; on average, 2 die from their injuries. The rate of unintentional poisonings has increased by more than 150% in the last two decades, and the CDC estimates that 90% of cases happen at home. Unintentional poisoning does not just happen from accidentally ingesting (or swallowing) a poisonous chemical, it also happens when a hazardous substance is splashed in the eyes or on the skin, injected, or even inhaled.
Exposure to a variety of different chemicals and hazardous substances are known to result in unintentional poisonings, such as:
- Carpet and upholstery cleaners,
- Carbon monoxide,
- Air fresheners,
- Pain medications,
- Cosmetic and personal care products,
- Foreign bodies such as toys, thermometers, coins, etc., and:
- Different types of alcohol
Preventing Unintentional Poisoning in Children and Teens
Certain items are more hazardous for children whereas others (e.g. pain medications) more frequently create dangers for adults. Since the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that every 9 out of 10 unintentional child poisonings happen in the home, knowing what the most dangerous products are is critical. Some of the most dangerous chemicals for children include button batteries, cleaning products that cause chemical burns (like toilet bowl cleaners, rust removers, drain openers, and oven cleaners), nail glue remover and primer, carbon monoxide, and over-the-counter drugs and prescription medications. Some of the best ways to prevent unintentional poisoning in children is to buy small quantities of products and medications, to get rid of unneeded extras, and to keep all dangerous items out of reach of children by storing in safe, childproof areas.
Symptoms of Unintentional Poisoning and Calling for Help
Safety experts recommend saving the Poison Control Center’s help line in case of an emergency. The toll free number is 1-800-222-1222. It should also be placed in an easy-to-see area, like on a refrigerator. Some general symptoms of poisoning to watch out for include:
- Stomach pain,
- Loss of appetite,
- Breathing difficulties,
- Producing more saliva than usual,
- Blue lips and skin (also known as cyanosis),
- Mental confusion,
- Loss of consciousness, and:
- In severe cases, coma
If an individual is experiencing serious symptoms (like having a seizure, collapsing, having trouble breathing, or is unable to be woken up) call 9-1-1 immediately. In the absence of severe symptoms, you can call the Poison Control help line for guidance. If you have additional questions or concerns about exposure to poisonous household or workplace chemicals, someone at our firm can help. Contact a representative directly.
Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP Representing Injured Individuals Since 1947
If you have questions about an injury, please contact our Philadelphia personal injury attorneys. Galfand Berger has offices located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. To schedule a consultation, call us at 800-222-8792 or complete our online contact form.