It feels like every time we turn around, a new technology is released. We’ve become so dependent on all of this technology, too. If we want to go somewhere, we use our phone’s map or a GPS device. If we want to listen to music, we use our phone or smart speaker. If we need to know the definition of a word, we either reach for our computer, tablet, or smart phone or ask our smart speaker. No matter what we have a question about, our first thought is to search the internet.
When you use search engines to find information on the internet, you get numerous possible hits. A lot of work goes into finding the answer you need – you have to sort through all of the hits to find the answer you are looking for from a source you can trust. Think about how many buttons you usually have to push to find a trustworthy answer. Do you think you can get immediate, accurate information after pressing just 10 buttons?
When it comes to someone using a medicine or household product in the wrong way or in the wrong amount, you can get accurate information in seconds by pressing 10 buttons: 800-222-1222.
Once you dial this number, you are connected right away to a poison expert—a pharmacist or nurse with extensive specialized training—who will give you all of the information you need to help the person; information specific to your situation. Information found on the internet is often general. It could apply to some situations, but maybe not yours. Some people call the poison center after trying to find answers on the internet, because the information they found was scary or confusing. Sometimes, it is not correct or may be outdated. Some information might also come from blog posts written by people who have little or no knowledge of the topic.
The best advice to follow if you think a poisoning or overdose has happened: don’t search the internet, just call the poison center. Watch our new video to learn more:
National Poison Prevention Week: March 15-21, 2020
In 1961, President John F. Kennedy designated the third full week in March as National Poison Prevention Week to help raise awareness about the dangers of unintentional poisonings. After nearly 60 years, you might ask if Poison Prevention Week is still needed? The answer is: most definitely! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), poisonings continue to be the leading cause of injury related death in the United States.
Follow these basic steps to help promote poison safety and prevention in your home and community:
- Post the poison center phone number (800-222-1222) in a visible location in your home and work, and program the number into all mobile phones. An easy way to save the contact is to text “POISON” to 797979.
- Read the entire label and follow directions exactly on every medicine.
- Read household product labels every time the product is used and follow directions and safety warnings.
- Store all medicines and household products in their original containers and never in food or drink containers.
- Store potential poisons up, away, and out of sight from children and pets.
- Have a carbon monoxide alarm in your home if you have a fireplace, wood burning stove, and/or gas appliances (e.g., furnace, hot water heater, stove, dryer, etc.)
Please share this poison safety information with your friends and relatives. Go to our website, mdpoison.com, to order educational materials such as stickers and magnets for your home or organization. As always, if you or someone you know suspect a poisoning or overdose, don’t wait for symptoms and don’t search the internet! Call 1-800-222-1222 to speak with a poison expert right away.