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New Home Safety Council(R) Research Shows the Majority of Families Underestimate the Danger of Poisoning Exposure at Home

Council Urges Parents and Caregivers to Take Action Against This Leading

Cause of Home-Related Deaths

WASHINGTON, March 4 /PRNewswire/ -- According to the national nonprofit, Home Safety Council, accidental poisoning is the second leading cause of home injury death in the United States. Yet, a new survey by the Council found that only one percent of U.S. adults ranked poisoning at the top of the list when asked to identify their leading home safety concern, proving the need for aggressive home poisoning prevention education.

The nationwide Safe Haven survey was commissioned by the Home Safety Council to gauge the public's perceptions and actions related to the top home injury dangers. Poison-related findings also show that less that one-fifth (18 percent) of U.S. adults have put safety locks on cabinets or have posted the Poison Control Help number near phones -- two of the key actions recommended by the Home Safety Council to reduce the risk and severity of poisoning injuries.

"Perhaps the most important finding from the Safe Haven research is that parents and other caregivers aren't doing nearly enough to protect themselves and their families from serious home poison dangers," said Dr. Angela Mickalide, Director of Education and Outreach for the Home Safety Council. "Poison Prevention Month is a helpful reminder for all of us to take action against this major health problem."

The most critical actions the Home Safety Council recommends taking now are to: read product labels and lock away those with the words "Caution," "Warning," or "Danger" on the label; keep dangerous products away from food and drinks; properly use and maintain fueled appliances; install a Carbon Monoxide alarm near sleeping areas; and put the Poison Control Help number (1-800-222-1222) and other emergency numbers next to every phone and store them in cell phones directories.

Poison Prevention for All Ages

With their naturally curious behavior and tendency to put anything within reach in their mouths, young children are at greatest risk for poisoning exposure at home. In fact, children under age five experience the highest rate of nonfatal poison exposures at home compared to any other age group. However, home-related poisoning incidents occur across all age groups, making active prevention essential for all. Unintentional poisoning deaths may result from taking too many types of prescription drugs at the same time and/or in too high of a dose. Following the Home Safety Council's poisoning prevention advice is a way for everyone to stay safer from poisonous and toxic products, chemicals and gases -- regardless of age.

Prevent Poisonings in Each Room of the Home

Poisons may be found in any room of the home, but are most commonly located under the kitchen sink, in the bathroom and in storage areas including the garage, basement and laundry room. The Home Safety Council recommends that adults conduct a home walk-through, looking in every room and paying careful attention to the rooms where harmful products are most commonly stored.


-- For homes where young children live or visit: put child safety locks on

cabinets to safely store chemicals, cleaners, medicines, cosmetics and

other toxic and/or caustic products.

-- When using harsh products follow safety recommendations on the label,

such as wearing gloves and masks. Do not mix products together because

their contents could react together with dangerous results.

-- Store all dangerous products away from food and drinks. Be especially

aware of products with fruit shown on the labels, which could be

confused as being edible.

-- Post the Poison Control Help number (1-800-222-1222) and other

emergency numbers near every phone and store them to your cell phone.

Call the Help number if you have a question about poisons.

-- Call 9-1-1 if someone won't wake up, is having trouble breathing or is

having seizures. If the person seems okay, but you think they may have

taken poison call 1-800-222-1222.


-- Make sure that medications, including vitamins, prescription drugs and

over-the-counter drugs, have child-resistant caps.

-- Keep each family member's medicines in a separate place, so they don't

get mixed up. Carefully measure doses and track medicine


-- Discard outdated prescriptions properly and keep them locked out of

reach of curious teenagers and young adults.

-- For homes where young children live or visit: put child safety locks on

cabinets to safely store chemicals, cleaners, medicines, cosmetics and

other toxic and/or caustic products.

-- Keep medicines and cleaning products in their original containers with

the original labels intact.

-- Read the labels of the products you use in your home. Buy products with

child safety caps. If the label has the words "Caution," "Warning,"

"Danger" or "Poison," the product can be harmful. Store these products

in a safe place using child safety locks.

Garage & Storage Areas, including Basements, Laundry Rooms and Outdoor


-- Chemicals, fuels (such as gasoline), car fluids (such as anti-freeze),

pesticides (such as bug killers), and lawn and garden products (such as

fertilizer) are poison.

-- Keep products in their original containers. Close the lid and put all

dangerous products away after using them.

-- Store dangerous products where children cannot reach them; use locks on


-- Close and put away dangerous products after using them.

-- Clean up spills as soon as they happen.

-- Never run a motor or vehicle engine inside an attached garage, even

with the door open, as deadly carbon monoxide can enter your home this


Poison Control Center

Every Poison Control Center across the nation can be reached by calling the American Association of Poison Control Centers' (AAPCC) nationwide help number at 1-800-222-1222. Post the help number and other emergency numbers near every phone. Call 9-1-1 if someone won't wake up, is having trouble breathing or is having seizures. If the person seems okay, but you think they may have taken poison or if you have a question about poisons call 1-800-222-1222. The help number also provides local poison control information.

For more information on how to prevent poisoning dangers at home, please visit or

About Home Safety Council

The Home Safety Council (HSC) is the only national non-profit organization solely dedicated to preventing home-related injuries that result in nearly 20,000 deaths and 21 million medical visits on average each year. Through national programs, partnerships and the support of volunteers, HSC educates people of all ages to be safer in and around their homes. The Home Safety Council is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization located in Washington, DC.


Valerie Pope

Brand Resources Group, Inc.


SOURCE Home Safety Council
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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