Media Contact: Susan Tellem
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California Poison Control Observes National Poison Prevention Week March 17 - 23

March 12, 2012 – San Francisco –California Poison Control System (CPCS), the largest single provider of poison control services in the United States, is observing National Poison Prevention Week March 17 – 23, 2013.
Here are the facts: Unintentional poisoning deaths are on the rise in the U.S. An estimated 71,000 children (18 years old and younger) are seen in emergency departments each year because of poisonings from medications (excluding recreational drug use). More than 80 percent of visits are because an unsupervised child found and consumed medications. In 2007, almost 30,000 people in the United States died from unintentional poisoning.
“We are very concerned about the dramatic rise in poisonings, so it is critical that information about ways to prevent poisoning becomes more widely known and disseminated,” said Stuart E. Heard, Pharm.D, Executive Director, CPCS. “We offer a variety of free services to prevent poisoning that we encourage consumers to use.” These include:
1. Fast, free and expert help or information 24/7 for emergencies or questions about poison at 1-800-222-1222. Program that number into all phones.

2. Interpreters are available at all times for over 100 languages.

3. – a free fun online game and free iPhone and Android app that can be played with the whole family. Can you tell the difference between pills and candy?

4. Free weekly home and family safety tips. Text TIPS to 69866.
5. Free weekly tips are also available in Spanish by texting PUNTOS to 69866.

6. Facebook page where consumers can get news and share information

7. Twitter information at @poisoninfo engaging moms and dads, nonprofit organizations and others. CPCS stages intermittent “15 Minutes with an Expert” on Twitter where followers can ask a medical toxicologist any questions.

8. YouTube channel for English and Spanish videos at

9. Consumers can share a poison prevention message with a friend by customizing and sending an e-card at

10. Lead is found in new and used children's products like toys, children’s travel cases, lunchboxes and jewelry. Find lead information here:

For more information about California Poison Control, visit
Suggested tweet: @poisoninfo says text TIPS to 69866 for #nopoison info

About California Poison Control

CPCS is dedicated to providing California’s residents with the most up-to-date information regarding poisoning. In case of an accidental poisoning, consumers should immediately call 1-800-222-1222 for advice. Pharmacists, nurses, physician-toxicologists and poison information providers are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to help. In most cases, a poison exposure can be safely managed in your home, avoiding a call to 911 or a visit to a crowded hospital emergency room. Many parents think about contacting the poison control services only in case of an emergency, but experts are available to answer questions any time. Weekly tips about home and family safety are available by texting TIPS to 69866. Follow CPCS on Facebook at California Poison Control and on Twitter @poisoninfo.

Video produced by Marshall Thompson

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