This guide is to be used by the staff, students and volunteers who are participating in a health fair event at places such as schools, health departments, work sites, pharmacies, churches, and libraries among others. Included are facts about the Missouri Poison Center as well as information for you to know so that you are best prepared to answer attendee’s questions. You can add poison prevention education to an exhibit which teaches injury prevention, public health wellness, emergency preparedness, or it could be an entire exhibit devoted solely to poison safety. Poison Help magnets, brochures and posters for your health fair can be ordered at https://missouripoisoncenter.org.
POISON HELP LINE: 1-800-222-1222
Missouri Poison Center (MPC)
- The Missouri Poison Center is the poison center for the whole state of Missouri. (There are 55 poison centers in the United States.) The poison center is reached through the nationwide Poison Help line, 1-800-222-1222.
- The Poison Help Line is free and confidential, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
- A registered nurse or pharmacist answers each call.
Key Points to Communicate
- Be prepared. Program the Poison Help number, 1-800-222-1222, in all phones.
- Give the Poison Help number to family members, babysitters and caregivers.
- When you call the Poison Help Line, 1-800-222-1222, you will be speaking directly to one of the registered nurses or pharmacists who are certified as specialists in poison information.
- Time matters… Don’t waste time searching the Internet for an answer. Call anytime for immediate help with your question.
- No question is too big, or too small – just call.
- The poison center can help with poison emergencies and with questions about poisoning or questions to prevent a poisoning.
- People call the Poison Help Line, 1-800-222-1222, for a variety of reasons… such as calls about:
- Medicines and drugs (i.e. prescription, over-the-counter, vitamins, supplements, illegal/ recreational, or veterinary)
- Household and personal care products
- Chemicals and pesticides (at home and work)
- Plants (i.e. mushrooms, indoor and outdoor plants)
- Bites and stings (i.e. insects, snakes)
- Gases and fumes
- Food poisoning
- Questions about adverse or unexpected reactions to medicines or products
- A call to the Poison Help Line, 1-800-222-1222 may help the life of a family member exposed to a dangerous substance.
- The poison center answers calls in 150 languages through a translation language line service.
What Is a Poison?
- A POISON is something that causes illness if someone eats, drinks, touches it, or breathes it in.
- Almost anything can be poisonous if it is used the wrong way, in the wrong amount, or by the wrong person.
How Do Poisons Get Into a Person’s Body?
- Swallowed poison
- Poison in the eyes
- Poison on the skin
- Inhaled poison
- Bites and stings
When to Call 911
- If someone collapses OR
- If someone isn’t breathing OR
- If someone is having a seizure OR
- If someone won’t wake up
How to Prevent Child Poisonings
- Use child-resistant packaging. Put tops on tightly. (Remember that child resistant caps are NOT child-proof)
- Lock products up so children can’t see or reach them.
- Do not let children watch adults taking medicine. (Children like to imitate)
- Call medicines by their proper names Do NOT refer to medicine as candy.
How to Prevent Poisonings
- Read and follow labels before taking or giving medicines.
- Read and follow labels on household products. Be aware that mixing some household products or chemicals may produce a poisonous gas.
- Use protective gloves and clothing when required.
- Store products in original containers.
Health Care Guide PDF