Media Release

Prevent Poisonings in Homes During National Poison Prevention Week

Thursday, March 16, 2017 3:00 PM

​This press release sent out at the request of the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County.

ALACHUA COUNTY, FL - During the 56th National Poison Prevention Week, celebrated March 19-25, 2017, the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County (DOH-Alachua) is sharing tips to ensure the safety of homes and communities and help prevent poisonings.

In 2016, nearly 38,000 poison exposure calls reported in Florida were regarding children age five and under. Poisonings are preventable, and it is every adult’s responsibility to keep children safe from harmful exposure to medications and chemicals around the home.

Florida’s Poison Control Centers handled 146,664 incoming calls during 2016. Poisonings can happen quickly, and it is important to know how to prevent poisoning and what to do in case a potentially dangerous product is consumed. Always keep the Poison Help Line at 1-800-222-1222 visibly posted in homes or classrooms in case of an emergency.

The Florida Poison Information Center Network recommends the following tips for poison prevention.

  • Install safety latches on cabinets and drawers.
  • Keep all medicines, cleaning supplies and chemicals out of sight and reach of children.
  • Try to purchase products with child-proof packaging when available.
  • Keep products in their original packaging. Do not store them in food containers.
  • Always read product labels and follow directions exactly.
  • Do not call medicine “candy” when giving it to children.

The Poison Help Line is free, confidential, and multilingual and automatically directs the caller to the poison control center covering their geographic area.

Download thepoison patrol checklist to help identify and safely store household poisons.

For more information, contact DOH-Alachua Environmental Administrator Anthony Dennis at 352-334-7931 or


  • Mark Sexton
  • Communications & Legislative Affairs Director
  • Phone: 352-374-5204
  • Cell: 352-283-2317

If you have a disability and need an accommodation in order to participate in a County program, service or public meeting, please contact the Alachua County Equal Opportunity Office at 352-374-5275 at least 2 business days prior to the event. TTY users please call 711 (Florida Relay Service).