National Poison Prevention Week Launched - Young Children At Greatest Risk for Unintentional Poisonings
WASHINGTON, D.C. - During a news conference to launch National Poison Prevention Week, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the American Association of Poison Control Centers, and the Poison Prevention Week Council warned against unintentional poisonings. On average, there are 28 deaths and more than 1.2 million incidents each year where children under 5 years of age are exposed to possible poisons.

Launched in 2002, the national toll-free poison hotline number 1-800-222-1222 receives more than one million calls each year about potential child poisonings and has helped save numerous children from serious injuries or death.

Parents and caregivers can prevent unintentional poisonings by using child-resistant packaging and keeping medicines and household products locked up and out of children’s reach. Often new parents and caregivers, who aren’t accustomed to having small children in the home, are unaware of the dangers presented by everyday household products. One example is leaving an open bottle of baby oil within reach of a young child. The consequences could be tragic.

“Child-resistant packaging saves lives,” said CPSC Chairman Hal Stratton. “In the early 1970s when regulations for packaging went into effect, more than 200 children under age 5 died each year from ingesting toxic household products. This has decreased to about 28 deaths per year.”

Enacted in 1970, the Poison Prevention Packaging Act (PPPA) requires child-resistant packaging for about 30 categories of medicines and household chemicals. The packaging required by the PPPA must be designed or constructed to be significantly difficult for children under 5 years of age to open within a reasonable time, and not difficult for normal adults to use properly. The most recent category for which child-resistant packaging has been required is hydrocarbons, which includes common household products like baby oil.
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