National Poison Prevention Week

National Poison Prevention Week

As every year since it was first implemented by Congress in 1961, National Poison Prevention Week (NPPW) is set to take place during the third full week of March. In 2021, that is March 21 to 27.

Sponsored by the National Poison Prevention Week Council, its goal is multifaceted.

  1. Help raise awareness of the potential hazards of poisoning
  2. Reduce unintentional poisonings
  3. Location and purpose of poison control centers
  4. Promote of the Poison Help Line (1-800-222-1222)
  5. A look at poison prevention advice and activities organized by a number of domestic poison control organizations, both public and private.

Sources of Poisoning
In order to know what to do and how to get help, the first thing you should know is that poisons are delivered in four distinct forms: solid, liquid, spray, gas. Next up, you must understand the most common sources of poisoning.

  • Alcohol
  • Cigarettes
  • Food poisoning
  • Carbon monoxide (CO)
  • Medicine, whether prescription or over the counter
  • Illegal drugs, such as heroin
  • Food supplements, such as vitamins
  • Personal care products, such as nail polish
  • Household chemicals, such as the ones present in cleaning products
  • Automotive chemicals, such as antifreeze
  • Garden chemicals, such as pesticides or weed killers
  • Other hazardous household items, such as batteries
  • Plants, including mushrooms
  • Bites and stings, such as a snake or a wasp
  • School and art supplies

Mandatory Info when Calling the Poison Help Line

  • The person’s age and weight
  • Health conditions or issues
  • Product or poison source involved
  • Poison point of contact (ingestion, inhaling, skin, eyes, etc.)
  • Time since poisoning
  • First aid: was it administered already?
  • Has the person vomited?
  • Exact location
  • Time to hospital or poison center

Little Ones
Since a majority of calls to the Poison Help Line involve accidental poisonings of children, the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) has been, for years, organizing all sorts of events and activities during this special week geared to all ages, but with a special focus on children and teenagers. This year, for example, the week kicks off on Monday, March 22, with a Safe Kids Partner Chat for all ages. Tuesday will see a Virtual Storytime and Tox Tales get-together, mainly aimed at elementary schoolers. Wednesday is the turn of the Toxic Trivia Kahoot Game!, whose target audience is teenagers. Thursday’s double program starts with a Tox Talk, for adults mainly, followed by a Virtual Escape Room activity, which hopes to bring in the likes of teens and adults alike. The AAPCC also organizes a Poster Showcase for kids grades K to 4th and a Video Contest for 5th to 12th graders. The shareable resources listed here, and more, are traditionally available in both English and Spanish.


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