Rockland Fire and Police Departments Offer Safety Tips Ahead of National Poison Prevention Week

Friday, March 15, 2019

For Immediate Release

Media Contact: Benjamin Paulin
Phone: 781-742-3922
Email: [email protected]

Rockland Fire and Police Departments Offer Safety Tips Ahead of National Poison Prevention Week

National Poison Prevention Week is March 17–23

ROCKLAND – As National Poison Prevention Week begins March 17, Fire Chief Scott Duffey and Police Chief John Llewellyn wish to remind residents of the danger of unintentional poisonings for people of all ages.

According to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC), poison centers across the nation receive more than 2 million calls about potential poisonings every year. Young people are at a higher risk of unintentional poisoning, especially children under age six.

Over 90 percent of poison exposures occur in the home. The top five causes of poisoning are painkillers, household cleaning products, sedatives, hypnotics and antipsychotics medicine, cosmetics and personal care products and foreign objects.

“Parents should always be sure to keep harmful chemicals and cleaning products out of sight and out of reach from kids,” Chief Llewellyn said. “Consider keeping them on a high shelf or in a locked cabinet. This is one of the easiest ways to prevent accidental poisonings in the home.”

Poisonings can be prevented. To keep your family safe, Chief Duffey and Chief Llewellyn recommend following safety tips provided by HRSA and AAPCC:

To prevent an unintentional poisoning:

  • Teach your family to never touch nor consume something if they don’t know what it is.
  • Store common harmful substances out of sight and out of reach of children. These substances may include over-the-counter and pharmaceutical medications, tobacco products, alcohol, cleaning supplies and other disinfectant chemicals, insect repellent and oils.
  • Keep all substances in their original, labeled containers.
  • Never mix chemical substances as they can create dangerous gases when mixed.
  • Always follow the label directions on over-the-counter and pharmaceutical medications. Never share prescription medication.
  • Safely dispose of prescription medications that are no longer needed.

If you think someone has been poisoned:

  • Immediately call 1-800-222-1222 to reach your local poison center. Follow the first-aid advice you receive from the poison center.
  • Remain calm. Not all medicines or chemical and household substances are poisonous. Poisonings can often be treated.
  • Get fresh air if the poison was inhaled. Take off clothing and rinse skin for 15 to 20 minutes if poison is on the skin. Rinse eyes for 15 to 20 minutes if poison is in the eyes.
  • Always call 911 if the person is unconscious or not breathing.

National Poison Prevention Week was established by Congress in 1961. It takes place during the third week of March each year and raises awareness to reduce unintentional poisonings and encourage poison prevention through community involvement.

“The Rockland Police Department has a box in the lobby where residents can drop off and get rid of unused or unwanted prescription medications,” Chief Llewellyn said. “We welcome folks whose medicine cabinets have old pill bottles to come and drop them off.”

For more information on poison prevention, visit the HRSA website or the AAPCC website, or contact the Rockland Fire Department at 781-878-2123 or the Rockland Police Department at 781-871-3890.