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EPA's Campaign for National Poison Prevention Week Advises Parents to "Lock it Up"

Release Date: 3/23/2004
Contact Information: Bonnie Smith, 215-814-5543

Bonnie Smith, 215-814-5543

PHILADELPHIA – National Poison Prevention Week will be observed from
March 21-27 to increase awareness of the danger to children of accidental poisoning from pesticides and household products.

This year, EPA's childhood poison prevention campaign message is, "Lock it Up."
EPA encourages parents and care givers to keep potentially harmful chemical products in a
high cabinet out of the reach of children.

U.S. poison control centers receive a call every 15 seconds about an accidental poisoning. National Safety Council records show that more than 50 percent of the two million poisoning incidents each year involve children under six years of age, swallowing common household items like drugs, vitamins, cosmetics and personal care and cleaning products. These poisonings also involve house plants, tobacco products and alcohol.

National Poison Prevention Week was first authorized by Congress in 1961 with the theme, "Children Act Fast...So Do Poisons!" Many poisonings occur when adults are distracted for just a few moments by the telephone or doorbell. That’s why locking up chemical products is so important.

EPA has distributed 23, 000 posters to poison centers, clinics, hospitals and health departments. Parents and community organizations can obtain prevention materials, including the “Lock It-Up" poster, “Ten Tips to Protect Children from Pesticide and Lead Poisonings,” and “Poison Prevention: Read the Label First Community Action Kit” by calling EPA's Environmental Publications line at 1-800-490-9198. Additional information on the national poison prevention week council is available at and at EPA’s website at .