Print Page | Contact Us | Sign In | Register
News & Press: Department of Health News

Take steps to prevent poisonings during National Poison Prevention Week

Monday, March 20, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: DCMS
Share |

Jacksonville, Fla. — During the 56th National Poison Prevention Week, celebrated March 19th -25th `this year, the Florida Department of Health in Duval (DOH-Duval) is sharing tips to ensure the safety of homes and communities and help prevent poisonings. In 2016, nearly 38,000 poison exposure calls reported in Florida were regarding children age 5 and under. Poisonings are completely preventable and it is every adult’s responsibility to keep children safe from harmful exposure to medications and chemicals around the home.

“Unintentional poisoning from a wide variety of substances and environmental hazards happen much too often,” said Dr. Kelli Wells, Director of the DOH-Duval, “This week we encourage parents and caregivers to check their homes for hazards.”

Florida’s Poison Control Centers handled 146,664 incoming calls during 2016. Poisonings can happen quickly and it is important to know how to prevent poisoning and what to do in case you or your children consume a potentially dangerous product. Always keep the Poison Help Line at 1-800-222-1222 visibly posted in your home or classroom in case of an emergency.

The Florida Poison Information Center Network recommends the following tips for poison prevention.

  • Install safety latches on cabinets and drawers;
  • Keep all medicines, cleaning supplies and chemicals out of site and reach of children;
  • Try to purchase products with child-proof packaging when available;
  • Keep products in their original packaging, do not store them in food containers;
  • Always read product labels and follow directions exactly; and
  • Do not call medicine “candy” when giving it to children.


In Duval County the incidents of poisoning are:

Ø  136 deaths by unintentional poisoning in 2015

Ø  In 2014, there were 271 cases of Hospital/ER treated non-fatal unintentional poisonings in kids age 1-5

Ø  In 2014, there were 18 hospitalizations for non-fatal unintentional poisonings among kids age 1-5.              

The Poison Help Line is free, confidential and multilingual and automatically directs the caller to the poison control center covering their geographic area.

Download the poison patrol checklist to help identify and safely store household poisons to keep your family safe and healthy.



About the Florida Department of Health

The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit

Heidi Moore