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Poison control system spreads message

The California Poison Control System has turned its sights to social networking in hopes of getting the word out about the second-leading cause of childhood injury in the country.

A recent news release details efforts to add a free text messaging service, Facebook quizzes and e-cards to provide tips, news and information on poisoning.

“A little education goes a long way in this case,” explained Richard Clark, M.D., director in the Division of Medical Toxicology at UCSD and medical director of the San Diego Division of the California Poison Control System. “Poisonings are preventable, and teaching children as well as adults about the dangers is the best form of prevention.”

Among its new services is a bilingual English/Spanish text-message service. For the first time, consumers who opt-in to the service by texting the word TIPS or PUNTOS for Spanish to 69866 received daily tips during the recent National Poison Prevention week and then will get one tip a week for the rest of the year.

In addition, the California Poison Control System will use Facebook, with quizzes designed to provide curious minds a way to test their knowledge of poisoning risks, myths and popular culture.

At

www.pillsvscandy.com

, side-by-side photos of medicine and candy will test the ability to distinguish between look-alike items. This game shows how easy it can be to mistake everyday items and reinforces the importance of keeping products in their original containers, in a safe place, away from small children.

At

www.calpoisonecards.org

, consumers can personalize helpful messages and share them with friends.

Contact info

Keep the number (800) 222-1222 on or near all phones. In case of an accidental poisoning, consumers should immediately call the CPCS for advice.

For more information, go to

www.calpoison.org

.

Tips for keeping kids safe from poisons

  • Keep medicines and cleaning products out of reach of children and in locked cabinets.
  • Always keep products in the containers they originally came in.
  • Never keep cleaning products, gasoline, antifreeze, paint and paint thinners, or lighter fluid in something you would use for food or a beverage.
  • Do not store food and household cleaners in the same cabinet.
  • Never call medicine candy.
  • Do not take medicine in front of children; they love to do what adults do.
  • If you are in the middle of taking medicine or using a cleaning product and you need to answer the door or phone, take it with you.
  • Keep things such as makeup, perfume, cigarettes, alcohol and vitamins where children can’t reach them.