For this week’s “Tuesday’s Tips” during National Poison Prevention Week, the New York Department of State’s Division of Consumer Protection is reminding New Yorkers of prevention measures to reduce the risk of poisoning. Established in 1961, National Poison Prevention Week originated to raise awareness of poison prevention and safety. According to the Center for Disease Control, poisoning is a significant problem in the United States and is the leading cause of unintentional injury deaths, surpassing motor vehicle crashes. Follow the New York Department of State on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and check in every Tuesday for more practical tips that educate and empower New York consumers on a variety of topics. Sign up to receive consumer alerts directly to your email or phone here.
“Many household items can become hazards if handled or stored improperly, and it’s critical for New Yorkers to put prevention measures in place to reduce the risk of accidental poisoning,” said Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez. “This National Poison Prevention Week, I encourage all New Yorkers to follow our tips and take the time to review any potential dangers in their homes to help keep loved ones, especially children, safe.”
"During poison awareness week, it’s important to get the word out to ensure that children cannot access any poisons, including medicines, cosmetics, household cleaners and chemicals, plants, and other dangerous items," Acting State Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald said. "If a suspected poisoning has occurred, call the poison control center immediately and have the following information ready: the age and weight of the person, the product container that caused the poisoning, and the time that the poisoning occurred.”
Accidental poisonings can happen to both children and adults, and this week is a good reminder to review potential hazards in your home and secure poisonous substances to avoid unnecessary illness or tragedy. Everyday household items, such as cleaning supplies, cosmetic/personal care products, medications or faulty carbon monoxide detectors, can pose serious harm if not properly stored or maintained.
Poisoning Prevention Tips:
- Educate yourself about the risk. Read the labels of household items to understand the risk of exposure. Teach children to stay away from personal care and household products and use appropriate language—for example, never refer to medicines as candy, as that can be confusing to children.
- Keep poisons out of reach of children. Young children (under six) are at high risk of exposure. According to the National Poison Data System, cosmetics, personal care products, cleaning products and medicine lead the list of the most common substances implicated in pediatric exposures. Lock these items behind childproof locks or keep them out of reach and out of sight to prevent accidental exposure. Below are examples of some poisonous items to keep away from children, as some resemble candy, juice or other edible products:
- Laundry pods, often resemble candy.
- Colored cleaning fluids that look like juice. Always store household cleaners in their original containers and not in food containers or other bottles, where it may be difficult to distinguish what is in the container.
- All gummy medications, vitamins or gummies with CBD or THC.
- All items containing alcohol (mouthwash, perfumes, hand sanitizers, food extracts, etc.).
- Reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Exposure to carbon monoxide results in thousands of emergency room visits every year. Consumers should make sure carbon monoxide alarms are installed on every level of the home and outside of sleeping areas, and that alarms are tested monthly.
- Clean your home safely. Reduce the risk of inhaling poisonous fumes from household cleaners. Open windows or turn on fans while using cleaning products. Never mix chemicals or household cleaners to prevent creating noxious gases. Spray products away from people and pets and keep products away from the skin using gloves.
- Reduce poison risks outside the home. Pesticides can be dangerous even in small quantities, as they can be absorbed through the skin or inhaled. If using pesticides such as bug spray, wear long sleeves, gloves or other protective clothing. Stay away from areas that have been sprayed with pesticides until the spray has dried for at least one hour. If your skin makes contact with pesticides, make sure to rinse the area with running water for 15-20 minutes. Remove and wash clothing after using chemicals.
Additional resources are offered through the American Association of Poison Control Centers page. The NYS Department of Health also offers resources through New York’s two poison control centers:
The Upstate New York Poison Control Center
Upstate Medical University
The Upstate New York Poison Center
750 East Adams Street
Syracuse, New York 13210
|All counties in New York excluding New York City, Long Island and Westchester.
Emergency TOLL-FREE: 1-800-222-1222
TTY: (315) 464-5424
New York City Regional Poison Control Center
New York City Dept. of Health & Mental Hygiene
455 First Avenue, Room 123
New York, New York 10016
|Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Manhattan, Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester.
Emergency TOLL-FREE: 1-800-222-1222
TTY: (212) 689-9014
About the New York State Division of Consumer Protection
The New York State Division of Consumer Protection serves to educate, assist and empower the State’s consumers. Consumers can file a complaint with the Division of Consumer Protection at https://dos.ny.gov/consumer-protection.
For more consumer protection information, call the Division of Consumer Protection Helpline at 800-697-1220, Monday through Friday, 8:30am-4:30pm or visit the DCP website at https://dos.ny.gov/consumer-protection. The Division can also be reached via Twitter at @NYSConsumer or Facebook at www.facebook.com/nysconsumer.