Keep these tips in mind during National Poison Prevention Week!
Drug and Medicine:
- Only take prescription medications that are prescribed to you by a healthcare professional. Misusing or abusing prescription or over-the-counter medications is not a ?safe? alternative to illicit substance abuse.
- Never take larger or more frequent doses of your medications, particularly prescription pain medications, to try to get faster or more powerful effects.
- Never share or sell your prescription drugs. Keep all prescription medicines (especially prescription painkillers, such as those containing methadone, hydrocodone, or oxycodone), over-the-counter medicines (including pain or fever relievers and cough and cold medicines), vitamins and herbals in a safe place that can only be reached by people who take or give them.
- Follow directions on the label when you give or take medicines. Read all warning labels. Some medicines cannot be taken safely when you take other medicines or drink alcohol.
- Turn on a light when you give or take medicines at night so that you know you have the correct amount of the right medicine.
- Keep medicines in their original bottles or containers.
- Monitor the use of medicines prescribed for children and teenagers, such as medicines for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD.1
- Dispose of unused, unneeded, or expired prescription drugs. Follow federal guidelines for how to do this (FDA 2011).
- Participate in National Drug Take Back days recognized by the Drug Enforcement Administration or local take back programs in your community.
Household Chemicals and Carbon Monoxide:
- Always read the label before using a product that may be poisonous.
- Keep chemical products in their original bottles or containers. Do not use food containers such as cups, bottles, or jars to store chemical products such as cleaning solutions or beauty products.
- Never mix household products together. For example, mixing bleach and ammonia can result in toxic gases.
- Wear protective clothing (gloves, long sleeves, long pants, socks, shoes) if you spray pesticides or other chemicals.
- Turn on the fan and open windows when using chemical products such as household cleaners.
What To Do If A Poisoning Occurs:
- Remain calm.
- Call 911 if you have a poison emergency and the victim has collapsed or is not breathing. If the victim is awake and alert, dial 1-800-222-1222. Try to have this information ready:
- the victim's age and weight
- the container or bottle of the poison if available
- the time of the poison exposure
- the address where the poisoning occurred
- Stay on the phone and follow the instructions from the emergency operator or poison control
Excerpt from the Center for Disease Control