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Poison prevention week to begin Sunday

The Utah Poison Control Center will conduct National and Utah Poison Prevention week to raise public awareness of the danger of accidental poisoning. There were 13 poisoning incidents involving children in Carbon County last year and 10 in Emery County.The week will begin Sunday.

"Children Act Fast and So Do Poisons" is the theme of National Poison Prevention Week. In addition to raising awareness about childhood poisonings, the Utah Poison Control Center seeks to raise concern about accidental poisonings in all age groups. An alarming trend today is the increase in adult poisoning deaths, often due to unintentional overdoses of prescription pain medication," said Barbara Insley Crouch, PharmD, MSPH director of the UPCC. Death from unintentional poisoning is the leading cause of injury death in Utah.

"Our poison center provides assistance to individuals exposed to toxic substances 24 hours a day, seven days a week," said Crouch. "While we recognize that prevention is the best possible remedy, our specialists are ready to respond at any time to any poison emergency."

Each year, over 50,000 calls are received by the UPCC. More than 60% of the exposures involve children less than six years of age. In 2010, 94 percent of all poisonings occurred in the home. Fortunately 79 percent were managed on site with telephone follow-up. Therefore, it is critical to safeguard the home environment.

In all, U.S. poison centers answered more than 4.2 million calls in 2010, including nearly 2.5 million calls about human exposures to poison, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers. On average, U.S. poison centers received one call concerning a suspected or actual human poison exposure every 12.7 seconds.

The top three poison categories in children involve:

Cosmetics and personal care products

Household cleaning products

Pain killers such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen

The top three poison categories in adults involve:

Pain killers including narcotics and over-the-counter analgesics

Sedatives (drugs to reduce anxiety) and hypnotics (sleep aids)

Antidepressants

Events like NPPW emphasize the most common poisoning risks for adults and children, and offer educational resources for parent s to protect their children and adults to make informed decisions regarding use of medications. Prevention is the best medicine, but in the event of an exposure, your poison center can be reached at 1-800-222-1222. For more information on National Poison Prevention Week or poison prevention in general, visit www.utahpoisoncontrol.org, or call the UPCC at 1-800-222-1222.




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