Thursday, March 19, 2009

This Week is National Poison Prevention Week

**Media Inquiries: please call (213) 240-8144.**

For Immediate Release:
March 18, 2009

National Poison Prevention Week is March 15-22
How Safe is Your Home?

LOS ANGELES - A recent case of accidental poisonings of daycare
children in Arkansas, who were mistakenly served blue windshield wiper
fluid as Kool-Aid, reminds everyone to assess and ensure the safety of
the home. March 15-22 is National Poison Prevention Week, and there is
no better time to check your kitchens, bathrooms, and garages for
hazards, such as improperly stored or labeled chemicals.

"More than 90 percent of poisonings occur in the home, and the
majority of these occur in children younger than six years old," says
Jonathan E. Fielding, MD, MPH, Director of Public Health and Health
Officer. "These tragic incidents can be avoided with simple,
preventive steps such as keeping all medication, cleaning products and
other household chemicals locked away in a secure cabinet."

Other tips for keeping your home safe include:
● Be careful of look-alikes: many household cleaners, such as
window cleaner or antifreeze, can be bright colors, and may be easily
mistaken for fruit or sports drinks. Make sure cleaning products are
kept out of the kitchen and away from children.
● Keep cleaning or other products in their original containers to
make it easier to identify.
● Double-check medications before giving them to children or
taking them yourself.
● Use child-resistant packaging properly by closing the container
securely after each use.
● Keep a well-stocked first aid kit with emergency instructions
inside. Keep in mind that the American Academy of Pediatrics no longer
recommends keeping a bottle of ipecac syrup at home to induce vomiting.

● Instead, always keep the phone number for your doctor, and the
phone number for the California Poison Control System Action Line
(1-800-222-1222) near your home phone.

For more information or questions about all poisonings, contact the
California Poison Control System's Action Line at: 1-800-222-1222 or
at: The toll-free number is available 24
hours per day, 7 days per week, and 365 days per year from any
telephone. Language translators are available by request to assist any

The Department of Public Health is committed to protecting and
improving the health of the nearly 10 million residents of Los Angeles
County. Through a variety of programs, community partnerships and
services, Public Health oversees environmental health, disease control,
and community and family health. Public Health comprises more than 4,000
employees and an annual budget exceeding $750 million. To learn more
about Public Health and the work we do, please visit

# # #

Sarah Kissell
Public Information Officer
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
313 N Figueroa St, Suite 806
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 989-7183 (direct)
(213) 240-8144 (media)
(213) 481-1406 (fax)

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