Oconto Falls — According to the most recent data from the Wisconsin Poison Center, Wisconsin had over 35,000 calls to poison control in 2020, nearly 40% of which involved a child five years old or younger.
As part of National Poison Prevention Week, coming up March 20-26, HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital wants to inform the community about the dangers of potentially poisonous medicines and chemicals and share tips on how to keep your loved ones safe.
“In the emergency department, we treat accidental poison consumptions which can range from children swallowing soap or cleaning products to adults taking an unadvised dosage of certain medicines,” said Colleen Koski, HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital Emergency Department Clinical Director. “It is important to keep any potentially harmful products out of the reach of children and read labels carefully before taking any medications. In 2021, 65 people visited the HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital Emergency Department for poison-related incidents.”
If you encounter someone who was potentially exposed to poisonous material:
- Call 911 if they are unconscious or having difficulty breathing.
- Remain calm. Most poison emergencies can be resolved quickly over the phone.
- Contact the Poison Control helpline. Online help is available at poison.org or by phone at 1-800-222-1222 if you are concerned that you or someone else has been exposed to a potentially harmful substance. Both options are free and confidential.
Preventive measures are always the best way to protect your family from accidental poisoning. Some tips include:
- Place household cleaning products up and away, out of children’s reach and sight. Make sure to put cleaning supplies and chemicals away after every use.
- Keep all household cleaning products in their original containers. When buying products, look for child-resistant containers for an extra layer of protection.
- Check your home for products that might be harmful to kids like cleaning supplies, liquid laundry packets, plants, pesticides, alcohol and medicine. Keep personal care products such as lotion, makeup, cleanser and deodorant where kids can’t get into them.
- Be aware of any medications or makeup that may be in your purse, laptop bag or backpack. Store handbags out of the reach of young children.
For more information on how to protect yourself and your family, visit www.poison.org.
About HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital
HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital serves Oconto Falls and the surrounding communities as a federally designated critical access hospital with a 24-hour emergency department; urgent care; general, vascular, and orthopedic surgical services; inpatient and outpatient surgical and diagnostic services; rehabilitation; an oncology outpatient clinic; and women’s care. It was founded as Oconto Falls City Hospital in 1921 and became HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital in 2014 when it joined Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS). As an affiliate of HSHS, HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital draws on the history of St. Francis of Assisi as it serves the health care needs of the region in Christ’s healing ministry, caring for all people. HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital also has six regional health center locations in affiliation with Prevea Health in Gillett, Lena, Mountain, Oconto, Oconto Falls and Suring. HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital Pharmacies are located in Gillett and Oconto Falls. For more information about St. Clare, please visit: www.stclarememorial.org.
About Hospital Sisters Health System
Hospital Sisters Health System’s (HSHS) mission is to reveal and embody Christ’s healing love for all people through our high quality, Franciscan health care ministry. HSHS provides state-of-the-art health care to our patients and is dedicated to serving all people, especially the most vulnerable, at each of our 15 Local Systems and physician practices in Illinois (Breese, Decatur, Effingham, Greenville, Highland, Litchfield, O’Fallon, Shelbyville and Springfield) and Wisconsin (Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Oconto Falls, Sheboygan and two in Green Bay). HSHS is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries and Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the founding institute. For more information about HSHS, visit www.hshs.org. For more information about Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, visit www.hospitalsisters.org.