National Poison Prevention Week is March 17-23, 2019

Published: March 18, 2019

Poisoning is the #1 cause of injury-related death in the U.S. The third week in March each year is designated by Congress as National Poison Prevention Week, a week dedicated to raising awareness about the burden of poisoning in the U.S. and highlighting specific ways to prevent it.

All Californians are reminded to be prepared in an emergency by saving the California Poison Control System’s toll-free number, 1-800-222-1222, into all phones!

Calls to the California Poison Control System are answered quickly by pharmacists, nurses and poison information specialists who have extensive training in poison prevention and treatment. Callers receive expert treatment advice and referral free-of-charge, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All calls are handled with confidentiality and language interpreters are available in over 200 languages.

poison prevention week postcard


  • 80 percent of poisonings occur inside the home, and most are treatable and preventable.

  • The most common sources of poisoning in young children are items typically found at home, including cleaning, cosmetic, and personal care products, as well as over-the-counter and prescription medications.

  • Adults – who are most commonly poisoned by cleaning products, or by the improper use of sedatives, antidepressants, pain relievers, or prescription drugs – are far more likely to die from poison exposure.


  • Keep all household products in their original containers and never store in empty beverage or food containers. Someone may accidentally drink or eat it.

  • Store all household cleaning and personal care products behind locked cabinets, out of sight and reach of children.

  • Install a carbon monoxide and smoke detector in your home. Change the batteries every 6 months and test that they are working.

  • Always keep medicines in child-resistant packaging locked away and out of sight and reach. Do not take medicine in front of children or call medicine candy. Children can confuse medicine with candy, resulting in serious or fatal poisonings.


  • Take the Poison Safety Education Course at

  • Choose Your Poison is a free online game to play with the whole family. Can you tell the difference between pills and candy?

  • Connect on Facebook and Twitter to receive news, tips and poison prevention information from poison experts.

  • Sign up for weekly text-message tips by texting “TIPS” to 20121 (or PUNTOS for information in Spanish).

  • Order free poison prevention and education materials at

poison prevention week flyer


For the latest Coronavirus (COVID-19) information, click here: getting care, testing and vaccines