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Poison Prevention Week

March 15 to the 21 is National Poison Prevention Week, an opportune time to raise awareness of how accidental poisonings occur and how to prevent them. Each year, poison centers across the United States receive more than 2 million calls, many of which involve poison exposure. Although most non-fatal poisonings happen to children younger than six years old, teenagers and adults are also at risk of poisoning accidents. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent unintentional poisonings and poison-related deaths in people of all ages.

Causes of Unintentional Poisoning

Any substance that causes harm to the body when too much is eaten, injected, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin is considered poisonous. Most poisonings occur in the home due to accidental exposure. Cosmetics and personal care items, household cleaning products, analgesics, and antidepressants are the substances most implicated in poison exposures, according to the National Capital Poison Center. Other causes of unintentional poisoning include:

  • Antifreeze
  • Contaminated water
  • Food
  • Gasoline
  • Lighter fluid
  • Metals
  • Motor oil
  • Over-the-counter medications, which account for most poisonings in pets
  • Paint and paint thinner
  • Pesticides
  • Prescription medications

Poisoning Symptoms

The symptoms of poisoning vary depending on the type and amount of poisonous substance to which one is exposed; other factors that impact poison levels include age, weight, and general state of health. Poisoning symptoms typically include:

  • Burns
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Dry mouth or drooling
  • Fainting
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Rash or swollen skin
  • Seizures
  • Shaking
  • Slowed rapid heart rate or breathing rate

If you suspect that you or someone else has been poisoned, dial 911 or call your local poison center immediately and inform them of the substance that was ingested. Acting quickly can mean the difference between life or death.

Preventing Poisoning

This week is a good opportunity for everyone to inspect their homes for any potentially poisonous substances and ensure that they are stored properly. Some tips to prevent unintentional poisonings include:

  • Dispose of expired or unneeded medications.
  • Do not mix chemicals.
  • Do not refer to medicine as candy.
  • Ensure that there is proper ventilation when working with paint thinners, cleaners, and other chemical solutions.
  • Follow the instructions on the label, and do not take more than the recommended dose.
  • Have the poison center phone number readily available in case of an accident.
  • Keep foods and household products separate and in their original containers.
  • Label everything.
  • Store medicines and vitamins on high shelves out of children’s reach.
  • Wear protective clothing when handling cleaners and chemicals.

Compensation for Poisoning

Those who were poisoned due to toxic products may be entitled to compensation for their injuries. Available damages in such personal injury, product liability, or toxic tort cases generally include medical expenses, medical monitoring, lost wages, pain and suffering, and wrongful death damages.

Delaware Personal Injury Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Advocate for Poisoned Victims

If you were poisoned by a toxic substance or material, contact one of our skilled Delaware personal injury lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A today. Our experienced and dedicated legal team will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 302-656-5445. From our offices in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state, including those in Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.

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