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Notice to Readers: National Poison Prevention Week --- March 20--26, 2005

National Poison Prevention Week, March 20--26, is organized each year in the United States by the National Poison Prevention Week Council, a coalition of national organizations working to prevent poisonings. This year, the central theme is "Children Act Fast . . . So Do Poisons!" For 2005, a primary focus is public education about the products most often involved in poisonings.

In 2003, U.S. poison-control centers reported an estimated 2.3 million exposures to poisonous substances (1). Approximately 90% of these occurred at a residence, and the majority occurred in children aged <5 years (1). Poisonous agents most often implicated in pediatric exposures include cosmetics, personal-care products, cleaning substances, analgesics, cough and cold preparations, and other products usually found in the home (1). The highest fatality rates among all poison exposures occurred in persons aged 30--39 years (19.4%) and 40--49 years (22.4%).

Resources for consumer education on poisoning and its prevention are available at and A Consumer Product Safety Commission checklist is also available to educate consumers about identifying and correcting situations in the home that could lead to poisoning. This checklist is available at

Additional information about National Poison Prevention Week is available at The national toll-free telephone number for poison-control centers is 1-800-222-1222.


  1. Watson WA, Litovitz TL, Klein-Schwartz W, et al. 2003 annual report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers Toxic Exposures Surveillance System. Am J Emerg Med 2003;22:335--404.

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