PLATTSBURGH - Though March is National Poison Control Month, the dangers of poisoning are something that are out there all year long.
According to Christine Blake, public relations representative with CVPH Medical Center, the hospital's emergency care center saw 170 people due to accidental poisoning in 2010. The number one poisoning in patients overall was poisonous plants. The second was second-hand tobacco smoke; third was a three-way tie for opiates, food plan and analgesics.
Many times, children ingest poisonous products or splash poisons in their eyes. The agent the child may ingest is a very wide range from medicine, chemical, pesticides and cosmetics. Usually, 50-60 percent calls to all the centers in the U.S. involve children younger than age 6, said Lee Livermore, public education coordinator with the Upstate New York Poison Center.
Livermore said his center handles Albany, Buffalo, and north to the Canadian border with locations like Plattsburgh. Last year, the center covered 34 counties and took 4.3 million calls. This year, the center expects to take 7.1 million calls.
Dr. Rada Jones, who serves as director of the CVPH Emergency Care Center, said one way to keep those numbers down is to keep medications away from children, as most poisonings involve kids.
"Make sure all the medication - yours, the grandparents', everybody's -is out of reach. Do not keep toxic items in bottles that are usually used for drinks," said Jones. "Watch them, if things happen call the poison control center."
Clinton County Health Department public health educator Kendra Young said supervision is the best kind of poison prevention.
"Although we provide products and education and whatnot, still for the child it's proper supervision and paying attention to that child that is essential to reduce any poisonings in the home," said Young.
Though children are poisoned more often, Jones said poisoning in adults still happens.