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Observe National Poison Prevention Week

By Staff | Mar 25, 2011

March 20-26 is both National Poison Prevention Week and National Animal Poison Prevention Week, a good time to take stock in what poisons you may have around the home or workplace.

Poisons of course, are everywhere – in the garage, kitchen, bathroom or workshop. That’s what makes it so difficult to prevent accidental poisoning from occurring.

“It’s not my problem, I’m not going have accidents with poisoning,” you might say. Maybe. Then maybe not.

Does your car leave an antifreeze leak in the driveway or garage? Do you have a dog or cat that could have access to that leak? Then you could have a problem. Antifreeze tastes sweet to animals who could get poisoned and die by licking antifreeze.

How about that mouse or rat poison you put out on those trays. Could your dog or cat get at that? Or even worse, your child?

What about those common, everyday household cleaners under the sink. Could your child get access to those? Then you’d better put them up on a shelf, or better yet, under lock and key.

And then there are some items not normally considered poisonous which really are in larger quantities.

Take toothpaste, for example. Read the tube closely. Does it say that if any amount larger than what is normally used for brushing is ingested then you should call a poison control center? Yes, even toothpaste should even be in a secure place.

While you’re at it, read the labels of everything you buy for your home. If you’re not sure, ask your family physician or pharmacist if something would be considered unsafe if a child should eat it. And then store the item accordingly.

For more information on controlling poisoning in your home or workplace, contact the Iowa Statewide Poison Control Center at iowapoison.org