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Poison Prevention In Arizona and Around the Nation

PHOTO: With more than two 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: U.S. Sen, Mark Kirk.
PHOTO: With more than two 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: U.S. Sen, Mark Kirk.
March 19, 2015

PHOENIX - In Arizona and around the U.S., it's National Poison Prevention Week. Dr. Keith Boesen, director with the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center, says the focus is on taking some simple steps around the home to help reduce the chances of accidental poisoning. He says potentially dangerous products including medications, cosmetics and household cleaners should be kept out of the reach of children.

"One pill can kill for a child, whereas we might expect side affects in an adult," says Boesen. "There are serious concerns with some of those medications out there."

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

Health officials say 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, Boesen says to call the poison hotline at 1-800-222-1221 as soon as possible.

"Poisoning really encompasses everything," he says. "So when it comes to an exposure to just about anything, poison centers have the most up-to-date, current, relevant information."

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

Troy Wilde, Public News Service - AZ