Join the conversation

You need to know

What you can do Use the skull and crossbones

What to use instead

Kaylin's Corner
Insightful perspective

Must-vist sites

How to reach us

About LPF
Some background

Back home


Poison Awareness is Something to Practice EVERY Month

In March, in honor of POISON AWARENESS MONTH, we asked that all citizens take the time to educate themselves about POISONS, especially toxic household products. But it is always the right time to learn what the words DANGER, WARNING, CAUTION and KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN mean and teach them to your children.

Be aware that accidental poisoning can happen at any age and not just to small children. Please take note of the following guidelines:
Ages 1 to 6 years Most accidental poisonings happen to this group while exploring; which translates into shaking, spilling, smelling, tasting, and wiping of hands on skin or clothing. This is the group with the highest fatality rate because of ingestion and the inability of newly developing organs to cope with a massive toxic exposure.
Ages 5 to 10 years This is the age that wants to help mommy. Most accidental poisonings occur when children try to clean with household products. Often these accidental poisonings are never reported to poison control centers for social reasons and because exposure is generally not as severe as the first group. Delayed health reactions are usually not associated with the initial triggering event.
Ages 8 to 18 years "Huffing" or sniffing household products to get high. Today, one out of five children try "huffing" by the time they reach the eighth grade. This group is completely unaware that household products are poisonous. After all, they see smiling women, high on house cleaning, sniffing these same products on TV, encouraging their audience to do the same.
Adults Misuse is the most common cause of accidental poisoning in this group. Adults are usually guilty of failure to read instructions carefully and take heed of the warning labels. Big mistake.
Elderly Mistaken identity is the accidental poisoning plague of the elderly. Often they attempt to read labels without their glasses or in the dark, or automatically reach for a medication that has been moved from its usual place only to pickup something else by mistake. This group is most likely to store products not in original containers because they generally use smaller quantities and often share products with family and friends..

Take time to inquire about POISON AWARENESS programs that are being done in your schools, churches and workplaces. Ask school boards, church directors, and employers about the types of cleaning products and chemicals that may be in use. Make sure to ask for MSDS's (Material Safety Data Sheets) and then use some of the LABELIT POISON LINKS to look up and research products and chemicals and their potential health hazards. If you find some that are not to your liking, help your school board, church directors or employer to find less toxic alternatives.

LABELIT POISON FOUNDATION acknowledges and thanks Governor Tom Ridge of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for his bold and courageous stand in proclaiming March as POISON AWARENESS MONTH in Pennsylvania. In his February 26th PROCLAMATION he recognized the need to protect our children and all citizens from the dangers of accidental poisoning and encouraged all citizens to learn how to make their homes and workplaces safe from the threat of poisons.

LABELIT POISON FOUNDATION also acknowledges and gives special thanks to LABELIT POISON MEMBER and volunteer Lynn Borden for taking the initiative to contact all state governors and encouraging them to make such a proclamation. If you would like to help by contacting your own governor please contact us.

In 1961, President Kennedy signed Public Law 87-319 authorizing the President to designate annually the third week in March as National Poison Prevention Week. Congress intended this event to be used by local communities as a time to raise awareness of the dangers of accidental poisonings and to take such preventative measures as the dangers warrant.

In keeping with the spirit of this Act of Congress, the Labelit Poison Foundation recommends that the best way to prevent accidental poisoning is not to have poison in the home. This is a great time to read household product labels carefully and determine the risk/reward factor for keeping anything with the signal words DANGER, WARNING, CAUTION and/or KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN.

Special attention should be given to cleaning out all old and infrequently used household and personal care products, paint cans and prescriptions. It is important that you contact your local rubbish disposal company for instructions on how to properly discard these products (you will probably have to put them out on hazardous waste day, in which case they should be stored in a well ventilated area, up out of the reach of small children, preferably under lock and key and do not store near fertilizer or plant food products until they can be properly discarded -- DO NOT POUR THEM DOWN THE DRAIN). Make sure that all remaining products that have the signal words DANGER, WARNING, CAUTION or KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN are marked with a skull and crossbones, the easily identified international symbol for death and poison, and are stored up out of the reach of small children, preferably under lock and key. Labelit Poison Foundation will provide stickers to you at a minimal cost. Click here to find out how to get some.

Copyright 1998 All rights reserved Labelit Poison Foundation.
Design by The Webgoddess