Media Contacts

Sherrie Pace

Phone: 801-587-0607

Mar 17, 2016 3:16 PM

(SALT LAKE CITY) – In 1961, the United States Congress designated the third week in March each year as National Poison Prevention Week (NPPW), a time dedicated to raising awareness about poisoning in the U.S. and highlighting specific ways to prevent it. Utah Poison Control Center (UPCC) will celebrate the 54th Annual NPPW, March 20-26, 2016, with a reminder that while poisoning is the leading cause of unintentional injury death in the United States, poisonings are preventable, and expert help is only a phone call away. 

The UPCC assisted in the management of nearly 45,000 poison exposures last year alone. While 60% of poison exposures in Utah involve children younger than 6 years of age, poisonings can happen at any age. If you think you or a loved one may have been exposed to a poison, do not hesitate to call the poison center for help. “Calling the Poison Control Center is free and confidential. When you call, you will speak directly with a toxicology expert,” said Barbara Insley Crouch, UPCC Executive Director. “Don’t waste valuable time searching online. The center provides accurate and timely medical advice anytime, day or night.”

In 2015, 91% of all poison exposures reported to the UPCC occurred in the home. Poison exposures involve a vast array of subtances in the home and environment. The most common substance categories involved in poison exposures include:  analgesics (pain medicine), household cleaners, cosmetic/personal care products, vitamins/minerals, and sedatives/antipsychotics. Fortunately, 75% were managed on-site with the advice of a poison center expert, avoiding many unnecessary trips to emergency departments and health care providers. It is critical to safeguard the home environment. The UPCC reminds the public to make poisoning prevention a year-round responsibility. The poison center has a variety of poison prevention tools to help keep you and your family safe from poison exposures. Visit the UPCC website to access resources for all ages. “It is vital that people arm themselves with basic information on poison prevention in the home and workplace,” Crouch said.

The UPCC will join poison centers across the country in promoting the themes of National Poison Prevention Week: Children Act Fast; So Do Poisons and Poisonings Span a Lifetime. Additionally, the following daily themes will be observed during the week:

  •  Monday, March 21 – Children Act Fast … So Do Poisons
  •  Tuesday, March 22 – Poison Centers: Saving You Time and Money
  •  Wednesday, March 23 – Poisonings Span a Lifetime
  •  Thursday, March 24 – Home, Safe Home
  •  Friday, March 25 – Medication Safety

Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter @utahpoison during NPPW and throughout the year for messages, alerts, and tips on poison prevention.

If the unthinkable happens, it is vital to know help is just a phone call away. Call first for expert advice from our toxicology experts who are specially trained pharmacists and nurses. Program your cell phone with the Poison Help number and post it near your home phone 1-800-222-1222.

About the Utah Poison Control Center

The Utah Poison Control Center was established in 1954. It was one of the first poison centers in the United States. The UPCC is a program of the University of Utah, College of Pharmacy; staffed around-the-clock with pharmacists and nurses with additional training in clinical toxicology.

poison control center