National Poison Prevention Week is observed during the third week of March every year and exists to highlight the risk of being poisoned by household products. Take a peek under your kitchen sink or in your laundry room and there’ll be tons of stuff that could be dangerous. Household cleaning agents, prescription medications, pesticides, and other items can pose serious hazards to the health and well-being of our families and even our pets. National Poison Prevention Week is here to raise awareness of these dangers and to make sure we are all mindful of what lurks in our own homes.
History of Poison Prevention Week
Poison Prevention Week was established by Congress in 1961 with the aim of creating awareness and lowering the number of unintentional poisonings. The first National Poison Prevention Week was observed in March 1962 under the presidency of John F. Kennedy.
Over 2 million potential poisonings are reported in the U.S every year, with over 90% of these occurring in the home and the majority of them being young children. Every day over 300 children require treatment in an emergency department, with an average of two deaths per day being recorded. Most of these incidents revolve around highly toxic household items such as cleaning products and medicine.
In 1962 the National Poison Prevention Week Council was established to oversee National Poison Prevention Week. They focus their energies on partnering with other agencies such as the National Safety Council and the American Cleaning Institute to try and be more effective in their awareness campaigns.