This is National Poison Prevention Week – and in Minnesota, the goal is to dispel some common myths about when to call the state’s Poison Help Hotline or head to an emergency room.
More 40,000 calls are made to the Minnesota Poison Control System every year, but poison-control educator Lauren Prnjat said 90-percent of those cases could be handled over the phone – without calling an ambulance. People will be able to stay home, just with some treatment recommendations from the Poison Center,” she stated.
She said another big misconception is that poison doesn’t hurt many people – when in fact, it is the biggest cause of unintentional injury in the country.
Prnjat said about 60-percent of accidental poisonings involve medications, which is why she suggests learning more about where they should be stored, We really recommend storing all medicines and other potentially poisonous products up high, out of sight and locked up, really just so little ones don’t accidentally get into it,” she explained.
It’s just as important to dispose of medications and other hazardous products properly.
The Poison Help Hotline is available 24-7, treats cases like a medical record and there’s no limit to the number of times a person can call.
Minnesota also has a free, online Poison Prevention Training Program that takes about two hours to complete, and doesn’t have to be finished all at once.
National Poison Prevention Week runs through Saturday.