With the safety of all residents in mind, the Wolf Administration recently is stressing the importance of keeping poisonous materials in a safe place to prevent someone from getting sick or even dying.
“Every day, more than 300 children in the United States are treated in a hospital emergency department because of poisoning from harmful products commonly found in our homes, like cleaners, medicine and pesticides,” said Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine. “You can help keep your family safe and prevent accidental poisoning by making sure you poison-proof your home. If a poisoning happens, remain calm and call 911 if the person is not responding or having trouble breathing. The National Poison Helpline, 1-800-222-1222, is available 24/7 to connect you with your local poison control center.”
Levine recommends toxic products, like cleaning materials and detergent pods, are kept in their original packaging where children can’t see them. When cleaning, make sure to wear protective clothing when handling chemicals, turn on the fan and open windows to ensure proper ventilation, and never mix household products, such as bleach and ammonia, together.
Individuals should also make sure they are extra careful when taking medicine for themselves or giving medicine to their children. Always follow the directions on the medication’s label; never take or give larger or more frequent doses to get faster or more powerful effects. Also, individuals should only take prescription medicines when they are prescribed by a healthcare professional.
If medicines are not being used, are unneeded or expired, it is important that people properly get rid of them by following the federal guidelines for disposing unused medicines or by disposing them at a drug take back location near you.
“With more than 800 prescription drug take-back boxes throughout the commonwealth, we encourage all Pennsylvanians to regularly clean out their medicine cabinets to ensure unwanted and unused medications are not easily accessible,” said Drug and Alcohol Programs Secretary Jennifer Smith. “It’s often small acts like properly disposing of medication that can save a life and help our loved ones lead healthy lives.”
There are two poison control centers in Pennsylvania; one in Philadelphia at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and one in Pittsburgh at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Each poison control center hotline is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week by toxicology-trained medical professionals.
For more information on how to keep your home safe, visit: www.health.pa.gov, or follow the department on Facebook and Twitter.