This week is National Poison Prevention Week.
The office has received a supply of plastic cards with key chain cards attached, phone stickers and magnets with the Indiana Poison Control Center phone number, 1-800-222-1222 listed. This is a number that hopefully you will not have to use.
But when you need it, you will want to be able to find it!
The Indiana Poison Control Center phone center is staffed 24-hours-a-day, seven days a week, with specially trained nurses and pharmacists who can help you through all kinds of poison exposures.
They can usually take care of the situation, working with you over the phone, but should hands on medical treatment be necessary, the expert will call ahead to the nearest emergency facility to assure that the facility is ready when the patient arrives.
Also, non-emergency calls are taken, including information and prevention related calls. All services are free and confidential. Health care providers also use this number when they have questions.
Poisons come in four different forms, including solids, liquids, sprays and invisible gases. They can enter the body through several routes and perhaps more than one route at once. Possible routes include swallowing, breathing through the nose, skin contact and through the eyes. Poisons do not have to only be items exhibiting the skull and cross bone symbols. 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.
There are many places beyond the medicine cabinet and cleaner storage cabinet that could result in poisoning.
Perfume, nail polish, cologne and after shave for example, in the bedroom or bathroom can poison.
Keep paint solvents and other chemicals the adolescents could curiously experiment with locked in a secure cabinet.
Make sure relatives and friends or any other childcare provider keeps such dangers that could be poisons locked and securely stowed away. Plants can be a danger to children. If you have plants that pose danger, make sure you have them identified and that others who watch your children at the particular location are aware of the toxic plants whether indoors or outdoor.
In the kit recently received by the extension office, a checklist for scoring yourself on poison prevention and a first aid fact sheet are available. There is also more information on carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning which is more of a concern in the winter months and particularly in homes heated with gas or other home heating fuel oil.
Automobiles and gas dryers or grills can also result in CO poisoning. Visit www.clarian.org/poisoncontrol for more information, including a list of Indiana poisonous plants, dealing with bites and stings and children's educational activities.
You may contact the local Purdue Extension Office at 829-5020, Ext. 14, in Owen County or 448-9041 in Clay County for more information or publication copies regarding this week's column topic or to RSVP for upcoming events. Call first to assure items are ready when you arrive and to RSVP for programs. While most publications are free, some do have a fee. All times listed are Eastern Time.
March 18 -- Renewable Energy Grant Workshop, Rockville, 11 a.m.
April 2 -- Starting a Community Kitchen, Indianapolis, 8 a.m.
April 2 -- Small Farm Ideas and Marketing Success, Spencer, 6:30 p.m.
April 7 -- IBEP Pen Request Due
April 8 -- Bi-State Forestry Workshop, Beef House, 6:30 p.m.
April 12 -- Sheep Shearing School, Greencastle, 9 a.m.
April 16 -- Developing Business Plan for New Venture and Finance Options, Spencer, 6:30 p.m.
April 17 -- IBEP Bull Sale, Springville, 6 p.m.
April 23 -- Test Drive Your New Business Plan, Spencer, 6:30 p.m.
April 24 -- Starting a Specialty Food Business, Indianapolis, 8 a.m.
April 30 -- Fish Cleaning Workshop, Bloomington, 6 p.m.
May 1 -- Fish Cleaning Workshop, Crawfordsville, 6 p.m.