'The Power of Prevention' from the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center

<p>In the hands of a child, medication can cause life-threatening damage.</p>

'The Power of Prevention' from the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center;
Tips and Resources Offered for National Poison Prevention Week March 18-24
March 14, 2001

Contact: David Von Behren, MPH (520) 626-3389
---------------------------------------------------In the hands of an adult, a medicine used appropriately can be a lifesaver. In the hands of a child that same medication can cause life-threatening damage.

The Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center at the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy urges Arizonans to take charge of medications and poisoning hazards in the home during National Poison Prevention Week, March 18-24.

The Poison Center answers more than 65,000 calls a year from the public and health care professionals regarding medication questions, household poisonings, bites and stings and more. Many of those calls come from parents of children under the age of 5 who are in stages of growth and development in which they are constantly exploring and investigating the world around them, said Jude McNally, RPh., A.B.A.T., managing director of the Poison Center.

"The average home or apartment holds dozens of medications, household cleaners, perfumes, soaps, chemicals, paints and many other products that can be lethal to young children," said McNally "Your home is the most important place to exercise the power of prevention to protect your children."

Poison prevention information about medications, household products, venomous creatures and many other topics is available through the Poison Center link on the College of Pharmacy web site at: www.pharmacy.arizona.edu

The College of Pharmacy web site and the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center web site both contain links to the Virtual House. The Virtual House is a research project designed by Doctor of Pharmacy candidate Susan A. Hatcher. After touring the Virtual House, participants should be able to identify which household products contain poisons, as well as recognizing symptoms of many household toxins.

Poison Center specialists are available 24 hours a day, every day of the year in Tucson at 626-6016. Outside Tucson call toll free at 1-800-362-0101.

In recognition of National Poison Prevention Week, the Poison Center offers these basic tips for poison prevention at home:

  • (Keep all household chemical products locked up and out of sight of youngsters.
  • (When these products are in use, never let young children out of your sight.
  • (Keep items in their original containers and leave the original labels on them.
  • (Avoid taking medicines in front of children, youngsters tend to imitate grown-ups.
  • (Clean out the medicine cabinet periodically and safely dispose of unneeded medicines.
  • (Use child-resistant packaging properly - close the container securely after use.