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It's Poison Prevention Week in NV, Nation

PHOTO: With more than 2 million accidental poisonings in the United States each year, families are being urged this week to make sure any dangerous medications or household products are kept locked up or out of reach. Photo credit: FBI
PHOTO: With more than 2 million accidental poisonings in the United States each year, families are being urged this week to make sure any dangerous medications or household products are kept locked up or out of reach. Photo credit: FBI
March 18, 2015

LAS VEGAS - In Nevada and around the nation, it's National Poison Prevention Week.

The focus is on taking some simple steps around the home to help reduce the chances of accidental poisoning, said Alyssa Guttenberg, public information director of the Nevada Poison Center. She said potentially dangerous products including medications, cosmetics and household cleaners should be kept out of the reach of children.

" 'Up and away' is our message as far as medication safety - chemicals around the house," she said. "If they can remember to keep it up and away, that would be a great help."

Poisoning is the leading cause of death from injuries in the United States. More than 2 million poisonings are reported to poison-control centers each year, with more than 90 percent occurring in the home.

Health officials say that among the newer concerns are e-cigarettes, with their flavored liquid nicotine, and laundry pods, which often have bright colors and can be mistaken by young children as candy.

In the event of a poisoning, Guttenberg said to call the poison hotline at 1-800-222-1221 as soon as possible.

"The sooner the better to get on the phone, because some medicines and chemical products are very fast-acting," she said. "Some are delayed, but we don't know which is which until we get your immediate phone call."

Of all the people who call the poison hotline from home, Guttenberg said, the majority don't have to go to the hospital but can stay at home and follow treatment recommendations there.

More information is online at poisonprevention.org.

Troy Wilde, Public News Service - NV