March 20, 2021

Michigan residents encouraged to take precautions during National Poison Prevention Week

National Poison Week Graphic

The Michigan Poison Center at the Wayne State University School of Medicine responded to nearly 61,000 calls in 2020 related to potential poisonings, with more than 32,000 of those call involving children.

To raise awareness of the dangers of potentially poisonous medicines and chemicals, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is joining the Michigan Poison Center in recognizing March 21–27 as National Poison Prevention Week.

More than 2 million poisonings are reported each year to the nation’s poison centers. According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, approximately 90% of poisonings happen at home. More than 83% of exposures involved swallowing a substance (49% of those exposures involved medications and pharmaceuticals).

“By educating Michiganders about preventative steps they can take in the home and in their lives, I believe we can make serious progress in keeping our loved ones safe,” said Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at MDHHS. “It is vital that people learn about basic information on poison prevention in the home, such as keeping chemicals out of the reach of children and carefully reading the labels and dosages on all products. Everyone should also know the national poison center number – it is an important resource for managing accidental exposures.”

Last year in Michigan, 58 percent of adult Poison Control Center calls were managed at home without requiring medical intervention and 80 percent of pediatric calls were kept out of the emergency department.

MDHHS recommends the following measures to reduce the risk of poisonings:

• Keep all chemicals, including medications, out of the reach of children and keep them in their original containers.
• Carefully read the labels and dosages on all products before using.
• Keep products in their original containers.
• Do not mix chemicals.
• Have a working carbon monoxide detector in your home.
• Program the National Poison Control number in your phone: 800-222-1222.

Informative Facebook Live sessions are being held March 22-26 at www.facebook.com/aapcc.