Teach don’t touch for poison prevention!


As founder of the Pittsburgh Poison Center and the National Poison Center Network, Dr. Moriarty created Mr. Yuk stickers for parents in the 70’s and 80’s to protect kids from poisons in the home.

Dr. Moriarty felt that the traditional skull and crossbones representing poison were no longer appropriate for children.  The stickers were meant for people to slap on dangerous household products and if it scared you off as kid, that sticker did what it was meant to do.

Child Poisoning Facts

  1. Across the United States, around 800,000 kids are rushed to the emergency room each year because of accidental poisoning. Of these, around 30 children will die, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
  2. Around 70% of non-fatal poisonings involve children ages 1 to 2.
  3. Overall, around 24 million people call poison control centers every year. Although most of these accidental poisonings do not turn out to be serious, it illustrates just how common accidental poisonings involving kids actually are.

Even if we don’t see his green face, we need to be sure to teach kids to stay away from chemicals and take time this week to talk about the Poison Help Hotline.

Tips to Prevent Poisonings

Buy products that children can’t open easily. Be aware that child-resistant caps are not risk free. Once a child learns how to open containers with these caps, they will not keep a child safe. A child will only take longer to open them.

Keep medicines, cleaners, and other poisons out of sight. Keep them in cabinets that are locked or in cabinets that children can’t open.

Be careful when using medicines, cleaners, and other poisons. Don’t leave them open when you answer the phone or doorbell. Replace the cap. Take the product with you. Poisonings can happen in just a few seconds.

Always keep products in the containers they came in.

Install carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in your home.

Never take medicine in the dark.

Be careful when taking more than one medicine. Read the labels to avoid an overdose. When taking more than one medicine at a time, make sure it’s safe to take them together.

Brenda Lovitz, Risk & Safety Manager