The mention of poisonous substances may bring to mind the skull and crossbones image found on old bottles. While such hazardous materials certainly exist, medications and many household products used in the wrong way, in the wrong amount or by the wrong person can be poisonous.
It’s important to be aware of the dangers of poisonings and how to prevent them.
Most of these fatalities are due to drug and medicine misuse and abuse. More than 3.1 million calls were received by America’s 55 poison centers in 2013, with about 2.2 million of those calls dealing directly with poison exposures. The remaining calls were by people looking for information.
Who is Most in Danger?
Although just under half of those 2.2 million calls managed by poison centers involved children younger than six, the majority of deaths and serious cases occurred in teens and adults. More than 90 percent of human exposures occurred at a residence, while about 20 percent of the exposure calls came from health care providers.
Poison centers offer free, confidential medical advice 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year through the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. The calls are handled by health professionals who have special training in poison management. A majority of the calls can be managed at home, saving money and avoiding unnecessary trips to the emergency room. In fact, it has been estimated that poison centers save Americans more than $1.8 billion every year in medical costs and lost productivity.
Keeping Your Pet Safe
There are also poison control hotlines that can be contacted if you suspect that your pet has been poisoned. Among others, the ASPCA National Animal Poison Control Center can be reached at 1-888-426-4435 ($65.00 consultation fee in some cases), the Pet Poison Hotline can be reached at 1-800-213-6680 ($49.00 per case) and the National Animal Poison Control Center at the University of Illinois can be reached at 1-800-548-2423 ($30.00 per case).
Post it at home on the fridge and suggest others do so at schools and businesses. If you are ever in a poisoning emergency and don’t have the number handy, call 911 and they will connect you to a poison control center. This is also a good time to inspect your home for medicines and household products such as detergents, cleaning products, pesticides and fertilizers that may not be stored up high, away from and out of sight of children and animals.
The consequences of an accidental poisoning can be life-changing and result in severe personal injury or death. If you or a loved one has been injured in a poisoning accident, contact the Mann Law Firm by calling (478) 742-3381 in Macon, Dublin, Warner Robbins or Milledgeville, or through our online form.