The American Trauma Society, Pennsylvania Division, to Promote Prevention and Awareness of Poisoning Due to Lethal Medications Like Opioids and Common Household Products
Mechanicsburg, PA (March 18, 2019) – Did you know that every day, over 300 children and teens in the United States ages 0 to 19 are treated in an emergency department, and two children die, as a result of being poisoned? And it’s not just chemicals in your home marked with clear warning labels that can be dangerous to children and teens.
Poison prevention week is held during the third week of March every year. Just perusing through your medicine cabinet can open your eyes to the dangers lurking inside orange bottles that are often within reach of young children and teens. Not only that, for those suffering from an injury or other illness and prescribed a painkiller, especially in the opioid class of medications, there are risks beyond just addiction – namely death.
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the prescription opioid overdose epidemic is the worst public health crisis in Pennsylvania, and affects rural, suburban and urban populations.
Aside from opioids, a poison is anything that can harm someone if it is used in the wrong way; used by the wrong person; or used in the wrong amount. Poisons can range from household cleaning agents to pesticides, and pose serious health hazards to the well-being of our families, ourselves, and our pets.
Poisons may harm you if they get into your eyes or on your skin. Other poisons may harm you if you inhale their fumes or swallow them. Poisons come in four forms: solids (e.g. prescription medications); liquids (e.g. household cleaners); sprays (e.g. drain and toilet cleaners); and gases (e.g. Carbon Monoxide).
What are prevention tips regarding poison control? First, memorize the Poison Control help line at 1-800-222-1222, if someone you know may have been poisoned or if you have questions. If someone is unconscious or has trouble breathing, call 911 immediately.
Second, “poison proof” your home. There is a plethora of valuable information with helpful lists on ways to poison proof your home, such as the government’s Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) website at https://www.poisonhelp.hrsa.gov/.
The American Trauma Society, PA Division (ATSPA) is a non-profit trauma prevention education organization dedicated to reducing suffering, disability and death due to trauma. The ATSPA strives to help all Pennsylvanians survive and lead healthier lives through its trauma prevention education programs. For information, call 717-766-1616 and visit www.atspa.org.