Tammy Noble, a registered nurse and spokeswoman for the Iowa Poison Control Center, says this is National Poison Prevention Week and Iowans need to do a little scouting to ensure their homes are safe for the seasons ahead.
“This is the week that we really try to focus on things that we can do to prevent poisonings,” Noble says. “This isn’t just for families with young children. This is also for adults, because sometimes adults make mistakes, too, and a lot of those errors are things that could be preventable.” During the winter months, Noble says the experts at the hotline get a lot of calls about things like carbon monoxide poisoning, or the accidental consumption of anti-freeze or ice melt pellets.
“During spring, we start getting a lot of calls about lawn chemicals, about bugs and bug spray and as we start getting into the sunnier times, which everybody can’t wait for, with that sun comes things like sunscreen calls.” During 2018, Iowans placed nearly 30-thousand calls to the Sioux City-based Poison Control Center. That’s down slightly from the previous year, as Noble says so many of us are carrying around easy access to the internet in our pockets.
“People are starting to use their handheld resource a lot more,” Nobel says. “People are Googling answers a lot but we always recommend, just call the Poison Center, we’ll answer your question, you’ll know yes-or-no whether it’s a problem. We’ll tell you if you need to go to the hospital. We’ll even give you some help if it’s stuff you can take care of at home.”
The call is free and experts are available around-the-clock at 800-222-1222.