I could not let this week come to an end without taking note of the fact that it has been National Poison Prevention Week. The March 18-24 period was marked by events here in Oregon and across the country designed to raise awareness of the dangers poisons pose to children. Safe Kids Oregon and the Oregon Poison Center were the main organizers here in the state. 2012 marks the 50th anniversary of National Poison Prevention Week, which was first designated by Congress in the early 1960s.
The issues we consider during this time are important. As a news release from Safe Kids Oregon notes, “more than 90% of poisonings happen in people’s homes.” Adding that each year around 100 children aged 14 or under die from unintentional poisoning. More alarmingly, the release states that “approximately one-half of all poison-related calls to the Oregon Poison Center have to do with children ages 5 and under.”
Even more worrying is the revelation that “the greatest portion of these calls involve drugs like pain relievers.” This is noteworthy because many of us, when we think of children and accidental poisoning in the home, think of cleaning or pest control products. It is useful to be reminded that common medications can be just as deadly, especially where small children are concerned.
Oregon child injuries can come in many forms, and it is sad, but necessary, to remind ourselves that they can happen almost anywhere. It has been nearly 40 years since child-resistant caps became the norm on medicine bottles, but even they cannot prevent every child from getting into every dangerous product. As Oregon Safe Kids notes, it is important for all parents to keep the poison control center’s toll-free number – 1-800-222-1222 – next to the phone.
When tragedy does strike an Oregon child injuries attorney can often offer essential advice and assistance in dealing with the aftermath. The goal of Oregon Poison Prevention Week, however, is to help ensure that such calls and consultations never need to be made in the first place.