Safeguard your home during Poison Prevention Week

WVU School of Pharmacy and W.Va. Poison Center offer protection tips

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – It’s Poison Prevention Week – is your home a safe place? 

According to the West Virginia Poison Center (WVPC), 91 percent of poison exposures occur in the home.  Most of them are accidental poisonings of children from personal care products, such as perfume and mouthwash, and cleaning substances.

The WVPC is academically affiliated with the West Virginia University School of Pharmacy and handles various crisis calls such as unintentional poisonings in children and pets, misuse of drugs and chemicals by adults, and hazardous spill exposures.

The WVPC received more than 22,000 poison exposure calls in 2007, answered more than 10,000 information calls and provided more than 25,000 follow-up calls for West Virginians.

To keep your family safe and prevent accidental poisonings and exposures, the WVPC offers the following tips.

- Keep all medicines properly sealed and in a safe place. Pills can be mistaken for candy by young children.

- Scented household chemicals can smell sweet to children and animals. Keep children and animals away from the spill area and clean up all spills immediately.

- Properly dispose of chemical containers. Contact your local waste disposal office for more information on collection and disposal of chemical/hazardous waste containers.

- Avoid accidental overdoses by using a daily medicine container. Make sure the container is child-resistant or keep the container in a locked, safe place and out of reach of children.

- Keep all medicines and chemicals in the original containers with labels.

- Make a list of all your prescription medications, including the name of the medication, the strength or dose and how often you take it. This list will be highly beneficial in case of an emergency.

“Some pharmacies offer the option of child-resistant packing on prescription medications,” Elizabeth Scharman, Pharm.D., director of The WVPC, said. “If for any reason you may have a child in your home, whether as a family member or a guest, always opt for the child-resistant cap.”

The WVPC offers free Poison Prevention Week information packets to families and schools. Contact the WVPC at (304) 347-1379, or visit www.wvpoisoncenter.org to receive the packet.

For more information about the WVU School of Pharmacy, visit www.hsc.wvu.edu/sop/.

- WVU -

For more information:
Amy Newton, School of Pharmacy, (304) 293-7192
an: 03-19-08

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