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March is Childhood Poisoning Prevention Month
CEHN partnered with American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) and the Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units (PEHSUs) to bring you important information about childhood poisoning, steps for prevention, and where to turn for help. The PEHSUs and the Poison Control Centers receive many calls and inquiries from concerned parents, health professionals, and others. Together, the PEHSU and AAPCC databases are among the best resources available to health professionals and the general public about both acute and chronic children’s environmental health threats. Both groups have extensive expertise on the effects of toxicants on human health, and most of the PEHSUs share staff or facilities with the Poison Control Centers.
Read more from our partners by clicking on their logos below!
What Can Individuals and Organizations Do?
Click here to help us continue to bring together and highlight the critical work being done to protect children's health, galvanize support, and motivate society to take action.
Protect the Children in your Life
- Effective poisoning prevention is about taking precautions when it comes to using, storing, and discarding household substances, and being prepared in the event that the unthinkable happens. Download household tips from the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC). AAPCC also provides tips & resources for schools and child care facilities, including a classroom poison safety checklist.
- Make sure you have the national, free number for poison control saved in your phone and posted in your home, school or child care. That number is 1(800) 222-1222. Calls are free, private, and answered by experts. Visit PoisonHelp.org. You can also text “POISON” to 797979 to save the complete contact information for poison control to your smartphone.
- Make note of your regional Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit (PEHSU), and keep its contact information handy for questions and concerns about children’s environmental exposures.
- Combat chronic exposures by adopting eco-healthy best practices, such as:
- Purchasing only cleaning products that have been certified as safer for human health and the environment by 1 of the 3 reputable third-party entities (Green Seal™, ECOLOGO™, or EPA’s Safer Choice);
- Adopting a pest control approach rooted primarily in non-chemical prevention strategies, such as Integrated Pest Management; and
- Reducing the number of personal care products used, especially during pregnancy or on young children, and especially those with fragrances. Select products with safer ingredients. Are there any that you can live without?
Take a Stand
- Individuals can advocate for safer cosmetics and personal care products. Check out the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics for ways to add your voice to the call for safer products.
- Individuals can also tell elected officials that consumers have a right to know what’s in cleaning products. Women’s Voices for the Earth provides a quick platform to send messages to your representatives to support the Cleaning Product Right to Know Act.
- Manufacturers and retailers can adopt policies to protect consumers from unnecessary toxic ingredients in cosmetics and personal care products.
- Manufacturers can take steps to create certifiably safer cleaning products.
- Teachers and school administrators can: Be aware of what to do in the case of a mercury spill and educate their students to avoid mercury. See: https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/dontmesswithmercury/pdfs/mercuryspillclean-up_poster-3_508.pdf
- Individuals can recognize products that may contain mercury, safely dispose of them, and replace them with safer products. See: https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/dontmesswithmercury/pdfs/mercuryspillclean-up_poster-3_508.pdf