National Poison Prevention Week March 20 - 26

By Leslie Terjesen on Friday, March 18, 2016


          In 1961, the United States Congress designated the third week in March each year as National Poison Prevention Week (NPPW), a week dedicated to raising awareness about poisoning in the U.S. and highlighting specific ways to prevent it. Poisoning is the #1 cause of injury-related death in the United States. The National Poison Prevention Week Council has established the following overarching themes on this week: Children Act Fast; So do Poisons and Poisonings Span a Lifetime. Also, the daily these will be observe during the week:


Monday, 3/21 – Children Act Fast…So Do Poisons

Tuesday, 3/22 – Poison Centers: Saving you time and Money

Wednesday, 3/23 – Poisonings Span a Lifetime

Thursday, March 24 – Home, Safe Home

Friday, 3/25 – Medication Safety


            “The Ocean County Health Department has their health education staff members trained by the New Jersey Poison Information and Education System (NJPIES) and they are available to do programs in schools and the community regarding poison prevention, said Ocean County Freeholder Deputy Director Gerry P. Little. “ We realize how important it is to educate our community on the dangers of poison.”


            Daniel Regenye, Ocean County Health Department Public Health Coordinator, said, “While most poisoning deaths are due to the misuse and abuse of licit and illicit drugs, poison exposures can involve a vast array of substances and occur in many ways. In 2014, almost 80 percent of exposure reported to poison centers involved people who swallowed a substance. However, people were also exposed through the lungs, skin, eyes, and other routes. Additionally, 56 percent of human exposures reported to poison centers involved medications or pharmaceuticals. Other exposures are to consumer and household products, plants, mushrooms, pesticides, animal bites and stings, carbon monoxide, chemicals and many other types of non-pharmaceutical substances.”


            He added, “It is important to remember that poisonings can really happen to anyone, anywhere and at any time. While the majority of human exposure called in to poison centers occurs at a residence, they can also occur in the workplace, schools, healthcare facilities and elsewhere. The good news is that many poisonings are preventable, and if you need help, it is readily available, 24/7 by calling the NJPIES at 1-800-222-1222.


            Take the time to look around your home; inside and outside to make sure that any poisons are secure and away from children.   Call your local municipality to see when hazardous waste pick-up dates are so you can dispose of poisonous products correctly.


            Visit the Ocean County Health Department website at or follow us on Twitter@OCpublichealth or like us on Facebook.