Regional

North Dakota Department of Health promotes poison prevention for all ages

In recognition of National Poison Prevention Week, March 17-23, the North Dakota Department of Health is highlighting why individuals of all ages should practice poison prevention.

“Many people think that poisoning affects only young children,” said Mandy Slag, Injury Prevention Program Director. “Anyone can be poisoned regardless of age. Our goal is to encourage all North Dakotans to protect themselves from potentially poisonous substances.”

These calls received by the Poison Center illustrate how poisoning can be a risk throughout life and serve as a reminder that poison prevention should be practiced by people of all ages. Here are some reasons that people call the Poison Center: a 1-year-old ate a supplement pill that her mother dropped on the floor; a school nurse called about potential exposure to mercury because an 11-year-old broke a thermometer; a husband called because his 31-year-old wife started feeling lightheaded from fumes she inhaled while cleaning the restroom with bleach and vinegar; a nurse called regarding a 57-year-old man who accidentally swallowed a small amount of antifreeze while siphoning it out of his car; and a 75-year-old man thought he may have accidentally taken his morning medications twice.

To practice poison prevention, follow these simple tips:

• Program the nationwide Poison Help number (1-800-222-1222) into your cell or home phones.

• Keep medicines and household products in their original containers.

• Store all medicine and potentially poisonous product up high, out of sight, and locked up.

• Educate yourself: Learn more about poison prevention and Poison Center services. Take the free online training course at training.mnpoison.org.

For questions about poisons, contact the Poison Center Helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Services are free and available 24/7. The poison experts will help you get the right answer. For general prevention tips and materials, visit www.ndpoison.org.