Dispelling Myths for Poison Prevention Week

Dispelling Myths for Poison Prevention Week Click to Enlarge

ST. PAUL, Minn. - This is National Poison Prevention Week - and in Minnesota, the goal is to dispel some common myths about whether and when to call the Poison Help Hotline or head to an emergency room.

More than 40,000 calls are made to the Minnesota Poison Control System every year, but according to Poison-Control Educator Lauren Prnjat, 90 percent of those cases could be handled over the phone, without calling an ambulance.

"People will be able to stay home, just with some treatment recommendations from the Poison Center," she said.

She cited another big misconception - that poison doesn't hurt many people - when in fact, it is the biggest cause of unintentional injury in the country.

Minnesota has a free, online Poison Prevention Training Program that takes about two hours to complete, and doesn't have to be finished all at once.

Prnjat said about 60 percent of accidental poisonings involve medications, which is why she suggests learning more about where they should be stored.

"We really recommend storing all medicines and other potentially poisonous products up high, out of sight and locked up, just so little ones don't accidentally get into it," she added.

It's just as important to dispose of medications and other hazardous products properly.

If you suspect someone has ingested something poisonous, call the Poison Help Hotline at 800-222-1222. It is available 24-7, treats cases like a medical record and there's no limit to the number of times a person can call.

National Poison Prevention Week runs through Sat., March 24.

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