Magazine article Drug Topics

My Campaign to Promote Awareness of Poison Prevention in the Community

Magazine article Drug Topics

My Campaign to Promote Awareness of Poison Prevention in the Community

Article excerpt

STUDENT CORNER

My pharmacy rotation happened to fall in Mardi, which is National Poison Prevention Month. Consequently, I dedded to develop my community service project around poison prevention. Since phamradsts dispense potentially harmful medications, it is critical that we also impart infomration about poison control.

Poison prevention in children is an important public health topic that pharmacists need to address.

The statistics behind accidental poisoning in children are alarming. In tire United States, accidental poisoning sends one out of every 151 two-year-olds to tire emergency department (ED) every year,1 And over-the-counter medications are tire cause of approximately one-third of ED visits made by children under tire age of 12.1

Unfortunately, the rate of accidental poisoning is increasing, with a 160% increase between 1999 and 2009.2 Since nearly half the 2,4 million calls made each year to the Poison Control Center hotline concern children five years of age and younger,31 wanted to target my poison-prevention project to this age group.

Preschool presentation

I started by visiting my daughter's preschool, where I gave a short presentation, aided by props, to teach tire children "What is a poison?" Their ability to grasp this seemingly abstract topic surprised me. It seemed dear that they understood what I was trying to teach them.

Ultimately, however, it is tire parent's responsibility to ensure that the home is safe, espedally in light of tire fact that nine out of 10 acddental poisonings occur in tire homed

As an aid to parents, I created packets with educational materials acquired from tire Poison Control Center, tire Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and tire Consumer Product Safety Commission, which I ordered online.

My materials included a letter to parents, a poison-lookout drecklist, a book of activities and games designed to teadr children about poisons, and stickers and magnets displaying tire emergency telephone number for the Poison Control Center (800-222-1222).

After my first presentation, I wanted to readr out to more children with my poison-prevention campaign, so I contacted tire chief of pediatrics at tire local hospital and asked pemtission to display educational brochures in the waiting room and exam rooms, I found that school directors and healthcare professionals were happy to help spread this important message, and it was easy to facilitate the process by ordering the supplies for them. …

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