Every third full week of March is National Poison Prevention Week, a week utilized to highlight the dangers of poisoning and promote community involvement in poison prevention.

While Poison Prevention Week is only promoted once each year, we should constantly be looking for ways to minimize the risk of poisoning for children and adults of all ages. Making your home safe is critical to avoiding poisoning, as more than 90% of poisonings occur there.

The below prevention tips can help everyone reduce their risk.

Poison Prevention Tips

Never mix household or chemical products together – this may create a dangerous material.Do not share prescription medications.

Keep all chemicals, cleaner, medicines and potentially poisonous substances in locked cabinets or out of the reach of children.

Keep poisons in their original containers and store them away from food. Do not use food containers such as cups and bottles to store chemicals.When spraying chemicals, spray away from people and pets.Windshield wiper fluid is poisonous if swallowed. Keep it out of the reach of children and pets, and use with care.Some chemicals can burn the skin – drain openers, toilet cleaners, rust removers and oven cleaners are just a few of the common chemicals that may burn the skin. Be sure to wear the proper personal protective equipment while using these chemicals, and handle them with care.

Knowing what to do in the event of contact with a potential poison prior to it happening can be key in limiting the poison’s effect. The below steps can help.

In the Event of Contact with a Potential Poison

Call 911 if the person is unconscious or has trouble breathing.Call the Poison Help Line 1-800-222-1222.If the person inhaled a poison, get them to fresh air right away.If the person has poison on their skin, remove any contaminated clothing and rinse skin with running water for 15-20 minutes.If the person has poison in the eyes, rinse with running water for 15-20 minutes.

Tips for Calling the Poison Help Line

Call 1-800-222-1222 for the Poison Help Line. This number will connect you to your local poison center. Note: Not all contact with poison results in poisoning, but if you’re unsure whether or not someone has been poisoned, it’s best to call.Have the container of the material nearby. The label may have important information that the Poison Center will need to know.

Try to have the following information available:

Exposed person’s age and weightAny known health conditionsProduct or material involvedHow the product contacted the person (mouth, eyes, skin)How long ago the contact occurredWhat first aid has already been givenWhether or not the person has vomitedYour exact location and how long it would take you to get the person to the hospital

Reference: Health Resources and Services Administration – Poison Help