National Poison Prevention Week is March 17-23, 2019

Tips to keep you and your family safe

Poison Help LineThis health observance raises awareness of how to prevent accidental poisonings. The week is sponsored by the National Poison Prevention Week Council. Here are poison prevention tips to keep you and your family safe:

  • If you or someone you know may have been poisoned, call the NJ Poison Control Center’s toll-free line right away at 1-800-222-1222. If the person is not breathing, call 911. Do not wait for signs of a poisoning before calling the Poison Help line. When you call, you will speak with a poison expert. Make sure to have the container of the product you think caused the poisoning nearby. The label has important information.

Be ready to provide the following information:

  • The exposed person’s age and weight
  • Known health conditions or problems
  • The product involved
  • How the product contacted the person (for example, by mouth, by inhaling, through the skin, or through the eyes)
  • How long ago the poison contacted the person
  • What first aid has already been given
  • Whether the person has vomited
  • Your exact location and how long it would take you to get to a hospital. 

Do not panic. Not all medicines, chemicals, or household products are poisonous. Not all contact with poison results in poisoning. Follow the advice you receive from the poison center.


  • If the person inhaled poison, get to fresh air right away.
  • If the person has poison on the skin, take off any clothing the poison touched. Rinse skin with running water for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • If the person has poison in the eyes, rinse eyes with running water for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Do not use activated charcoal when you think someone may have been poisoned.
  • The poison control center can give you other first-aid advice and may save you from a visit to the emergency room.

Remember to:

  • Keep the toll-free Poison Help line number- 1-800-222-1222 in a place where you and your family can find it in an emergency. Also, save the number in your mobile phone. Text POISON to 797979 to save the number in your smartphone.

To help prevent poisonings:

  • Practice safe storage habits. Always store medicines and hazardous substances up, away, and out of sight of children.
  • Keep these substances in their original, child resistant containers.
  • Read and follow all labels and directions. Review medicine and product labels before you use them, especially before giving medicine to children.
  • Prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding your home of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.
  • Talk about poisons so others know what to do, too.
  • Detect invisible threats. Install a carbon monoxide detector in your home.

About the New Jersey Poison Control Center:

The New Jersey Poison Center provides free poison consultation and drug information through its Poison Help Hotline (800-222-1222). When calling the hotline, callers reach specially trained health care professionals—nurses, pharmacists, and doctors—who can provide help with poison emergencies or answer questions ranging from drug information and medication use to breastfeeding. The hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and assists callers of all ages as well as those who speak languages other than English, and those who are hearing impaired.