DEVELOPMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH INITIATIVES

The initial public health efforts of poison centers focused on attempts to alter product concentration and to enhance product labeling and packaging. Current events have also increased poison center activities in preparedness for di-

TABLE 130-1. Common Strategies Advocated to Help Prevent Poisoning

•  All xenobiotics should be kept in their original containers. Food and drink containers should never be used for the excess of a xenobiotic.

•  Never store xenobiotics in unlocked cabinets under the sink.

•  Apply locks to medicine cabinets that are within the reach of a child.

•  In the absence of a lock, the more toxic xenobiotics should be stored on the highest shelves.

•  Xenobiotics should never be left in the glove compartment of the family car.

•  Parents should buy or accept medication only if it is in a child-resistant container.

•  Medication should be considered as medicine, not a plaything and certainly not candy

•  Adults should not take their medications in front of children: This will limit exposure to drug-taking role models that may become objects of imitative behavior.

•  Unused portions of prescription medications should be discarded by flushing the excess down the toilet at the completion of drug therapy

•  Activated charcoal should be readily available in the home for use if directed by a poison information specialist or clinician.

•  Since it should be anticipated that about 10% of children who have ingested a poison will do so again within a year, these children should receive an enhanced level of supervision.

Sasters resulting from radiologic, biologic, and chemical terrorism. Additional collaboration with governmental agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and ATSDR continually expand the role of medical toxicology in community health.

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