This guest blog entry is written by The California Society of Health System Pharmacists at UC San Diego Skaggs School of Pharmacy (CSHP-UCSD), a non-profit professional pharmacy organization. CSHP-UCSD maintains a variety of programs, including Poison Prevention, Asthma Awareness, Tobacco Cessation and other public health education events to benefit the community and promote the profession of pharmacy. All information can be attributed to CSHP-UCSD. For more information, please visit http://ucsdcshp.wixsite.com/ucsdcshp.

CSHP-UCSD Poison Prevention Program was established in 2008 to address concerns about the increasing incidence of household poisonings reported in the United States. Every 8 seconds, someone in the U.S. calls a poison control center—over 50% of calls involve children and over 94% of poisonings occur inside the home.

In response, our student pharmacists visit local programs and elementary schools every year to deliver interactive presentations to parents and children in grades K-5. In our elementary school outreaches, we teach the children three primary points:

1. Recognize potential poisons in and around the home.
2. React to danger by protecting yourself and those around you, and make safe decisions regarding potentially harmful look-alike products.
3. Respond by calling the Poison Control Center and/or 911 in the case of emergencies.

There are plenty of common household products and medications that can be bad for children and adults if accidentally swallowed, overused, splashed in the eyes or spilled on bare skin.

Some examples include:

  • Iron supplements, which are very harmful if eaten by a young child.
  • Shampoo, which can cause vomiting if swallowed.
  • Household cleaning supplies, which look very similar to regular beverages/food items and can be very harmful if swallowed or come in contact with eyes/bare skin.

There are plenty of ways you can prevent household poisons!

  • Lock cabinets filled with household cleaning supplies.
  • Place child-resistant caps on your medication bottles.
  • Get help from an expert anytime for free by calling the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222. Experts can provide treatment advice or answer questions on any poisoning topic (food poisoning, bug bites, allergic reactions and more).

Don’t guess. Be sure! Seek free help.

If you would like to learn more about poison prevention and awareness, please feel free to browse our website: http://isitpoison.org/ for more information.