Poison Prevention Month: Keeping Pittsburgh Safe

By: Amy Charley

A staggering number — more than 41,000 children and adults in the greater Pittsburgh area had poisoning exposures in 2014 and sought assistance from the Pittsburgh Poison Center. Nearly half of those poison exposures occurred in children 5 and younger with nearly 6,000 of those were 1- and 2-year-olds. To combat these dangerous occurrences, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald have proclaimed March “Poison Prevention Month” under the theme, “Children Act Fast – So Do Poisons.”

Throughout March, the Allegheny County Pharmacists Association (ACPA), in conjunction with Safe Kids Allegheny County, will distribute Poison Prevention Home Checklists, which educate the public about preventing unintentional poisonings, and proper use and storage of medicines, cleaners and chemicals. The checklists, as well as Mr. Yuk stickers, will be available in almost every pharmacy in Allegheny County as well as city, county and Indian Head Start programs.

In addition, State Representative Adam Ravenstahl presented the Pittsburgh Poison Center with a House Resolution, HR126, in which the state of Pennsylvania designated the week of March 15 through March 21, 2015, as “Poison Prevention Week.” He visited the Pittsburgh Poison Center to present the HR and discuss bipartisan support of Pennsylvania Poison Centers.

UPMC/Pitt support comes through the Pittsburgh Poison Center, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, and the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy.

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State Representative, Adam Ravenstahl (left) and Dr. Michael Lynch (right), Medical Director of the Pittsburgh Poison Center, with the “Poison Prevention Month” Proclamation