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Prevent poisonings

Poison Prevention Week is
March 15-21, 2009

"Children Act Fast...So Do Poisons!"

Young children, especially those under age six, are always exploring because of their developing mobility and natural curiosity. Their curiosity, however, can lead to unintentional poisoning, even around their own home.

In fact, 56 percent of the 82,675 calls to the Indiana Poison Center in 2006 involved children age five and under. Most of those calls involved unintentional poisonings and most were preventable.

When do you need to call the poison center?

Call (800) 222-1222 right away if someone may have been poisoned or if you have questions about poisons and poison prevention. If the person who is poisoned can't wake up, is having trouble breathing or is having seizures,    CALL 9-1-1.

What happens when you call the poison center?

Your call will be answered by one of the specialists at the poison center. These experts are trained nurses and pharmacists who specialize in poisoning emergency treatment and poison prevention. The poison specialist will help you to decide if you need to go to a hospital. Most poisonings are not life threatening and can be handled at home with the help of a specialist, saving you time and money.

Product Recall List

Poison Prevention Tips

Storage Tips:

  • Store medicines and products in their original containers.
  • Lock medicines and household products where children cannot see or reach them.
  • Use child-resistant packaging. Replace the caps tightly.
  • Store household products in a different place from food and medicine.
  • Keep purses and briefcases out of children’s reach.

Prevent Poisoning from Medicines:

  • Read the label before taking or giving medicine.
  • Use medicine only as directed by your doctor or the label.
  • Call medicine by its proper name, not "candy".
  • Take medicine in a place where children cannot watch, because children learn by imitating adults.

Prevent Poisoning from Products and Plants:

  • Use household products according to label directions. Mixing household products can cause dangerous gases to form.
  • Keep house plants out of children’s reach. Even if the plants are not poisonous, they might cause choking.


Contact us

 Call (574) 272-2144
Fax (574) 272-4043
Write: 18355 Auten Rd
 South Bend, IN 46637
Police-Fire-EMS-Dial 911


David Cherrone
Fire Marshal
Ron Melser Jr.
Lieutenant, Fire Prevention Specialist

Office Hours

8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  

 Evening Information

For all Non-emergency information during evening and weekend hours please leave a message with duty shift.  Your call will be answered on the next day's regular business hours.


Poison Prevention Information

Kids Pages


What Is Poison?

When people think of poison they may think of classic poisons like arsenic and strychnine. While these are certainly poisons, things that are used everyday are more common causes of poisoning. A poison is any product or substance that can harm someone if it is used the wrong way, by the wrong person, or in the wrong amount. Examples of possible poisons include household products, chemicals at work or in the environment, drugs (prescription and over-the-counter), snakebites and spider bites.

Poisons come in four different forms:

1. Solids 2. Liquids 3. Sprays 4. Invisible gases

Poisons can enter the body through different routes and several routes at once.

  • Ingestion (swallowing)
  • Inhalation (breathing in through the nose)
  • Dermal (on the skin)
  • Ocular (in the eye)

Almost any substance can become a poison when used the wrong way or in excessive amounts. Children, adolescents, and adults are all affected by unintentional poisoning.


Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning:

  • Keep appliances, furnaces, fireplaces, and wood-burning stoves in good repair.
  • Install a carbon monoxide alarm.

General Poison Prevention Tips:

  • When answering the phone or the door, take open products (or your children!) with you.
  • Put the poison center number 1-800-222-1222 on or near your phone.
  • Be sure that every home where your child spends time is poison-proofed.

 Date Last Modified: Monday, March 02, 2009
Mailing Address:  18355 Auten Road, South Bend, IN 46637
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