National Poison Prevention Week is observed March 20-26, 2022.
The New Jersey Poison Control Center and poison control centers around the country are recognizing National Poison Prevention Week (NPPW). This week is dedicated to promoting the importance of recognizing accidental poisoning risks, preventing injuries, and raising awareness about the life-saving services the nation’s network of 55 poison control centers provide to callers on the Poison Help Hotline at 1-800-222-1222.
“When life happens, calling your local poison control center for help can make a difference between a mild health effect and a serious one,” says Bruce Ruck, managing director of the New Jersey Poison Control Center at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Department of Emergency Medicine. “Our medical staff’s expertise and immediate response provide callers with the medical help they need, right at home. Most callers never need to go to the emergency room or spend money on medical costs.”
It’s important to contact your local poison control center if you or a loved one has had contact with a potentially dangerous product or substance. Guessing whether it’s a medical emergency, waiting for symptoms to appear or wasting time searching for medical information online can delay medical treatment and lead to more severe health effects.
Save the Poison Help Hotline (1-800-222-1222) in your phone — you just may save a life. The Poison Help Hotline is available anywhere in the U.S., and connects callers to their local poison control center. Toxicology specialists including nurses, pharmacists and physicians provide callers with free, private/confidential, medical advice, 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
Along with helping the public, poison control center staff regularly consults with medical and emergency service providers in hospital emergency departments and healthcare facilities across the state to assist in the diagnosis and treatment of patients. Studies show patients hospitalized after a poisoning exposure with poison center assistance spend fewer days in the hospital than patients hospitalized for without poison center assistance.
In addition to being New Jersey’s primary defense against injury and death from unintentional poisoning, the poison control center plays an essential role in the statewide response to the COVID-19 pandemic — assisting over 125,000 callers with COVID-19 information and resources.
“When the public first thinks of a poison control center, many believe our services only apply to little ones who get into cleaners under the sink or older adults who mixed-up their medicines,” says Ruck. “In fact, each day our center helps callers of all ages, in many languages and for all types of poisoning exposures. Mishaps often involve common products found in our everyday environments besides medicines and chemicals.”
Other risks include recreational drugs (cannabis edibles, vape liquids and alcohol), food poisoning, bites and stings, carbon monoxide, medication/substance overdose, toxic plants, and foreign bodies (coins, magnets and batteries).
Click here for sharable resources and on-demand virtual events for National Poison Prevention Week. There’s something for everyone! Follow along on social media using #NPPW22.
If you think someone came in contact with something dangerous, contact your local poison control center immediately for medical treatment advice. Anyone can call for medical help – children, teens and adults. Poison control centers are a medical resource for both the public and healthcare providers. Get help 24/7.
If the person is awake, call the NJ Poison Control Center 1-800-222-1222 or Chat Here
If someone is not breathing, hard to wake up, or having a seizure, call 9-1-1