For children ages 18-36 months, poisoning is the #1 cause of injury-related hospitalization and death
In Illinois, there are more people hospitalized for poisonings than for injuries from firearms and motor vehicle collisions combined
9 out of 10 poisoning deaths are caused by drugs/medications
As the nation’s oldest poison center prepares to kick off its annual Illinois Poison Prevention Month (IPPM) in the month of March – we asked some of our most active volunteer educators to share their IPPM activities; but more importantly we asked them to explain why IPPM and the Illinois Poison Center (IPC) are so important:
When I think of Illinois Poison Prevention Month I think of saving lives. For the last eight years I have been lucky to be a part of a wonderful poison prevention program through my job as an Emergency Room nurse at Centegra Hospital Woodstock in Woodstock Illinois.
As an ER nurse, I am used to the high stress of acute illness and trauma. My job has many highs and lows during a 12- hour shift. Each March for IPPM, I get to visit approximately 2,000 five and six year old kindergarteners, and although it might sound stressful, it is very rewarding to me. I get the chance to make kids laugh and smile all day with the IPC’s Spike the puppet and teach them how to be safe around potentially poisonous substances. It reminds me why I became a nurse and an Illinois Poison Prevention educator.
All of our children deserve safe homes, schools, and places to play. Illinois Poison Prevention Month allows this to happen by educating the children, their families, and their schools about poison safety. If just one child stays away from a pill bottle and out of our ER, my job of poison prevention education is successful.
Melissa Nolan RN, BSN
Prairie State College of Nursing has a partnership with the Illinois Poison Center which has proven to be very beneficial to our nursing students and our surrounding communities. Last November, all of our sophomore nursing students took the Online Poison Prevention Education Training Course and were able to teach poison prevention to local children in our surrounding community schools. The experience was valuable not only to our students but also to the many children they were able to teach. Our nursing students learned communication and presentation skills as well as educating the greater public by this experience. The children loved the Just Ask First video, the coloring pages and the magnets; which were just some of the free educational items we received from the IPC. The experience and the support we received from the IPC was invaluable to us.
Associate Professor of Nursing
Prairie State College
The IPC was able to help support me during a hectic emergency situation with a student…. I appreciated that I was able to call and get information and help while a situation was in progress. It helped to relieve some of the tension during the chaos.
Kristin Hayes, R.N.
Lincolnwood School District
So what are you doing to celebrate IPPM? Click here for FREE promotional items (flashlight key chains, magnifier bookmark/ruler, children’s activity sheets, etc.), variety educational materials and some simple, quick ways to create safer home, play and work environments! Act now…priority is placed on orders received before Feb. 15, 2013!
One of the most important takeaways of IPPM is to make sure the residents of Illinois know that the IPC is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year via a FREE, confidential hotline, 1-800-222-1222 to provide expert medical information and treatment advice. Please take advantage of these FREE, essential materials during IPPM; you just might save a life.
The IPC is an important and necessary health care resource and value for all of Illinois.