Category Archives: Hennepin Regional Poison Center

Poison Prevention Tips for Child Safety

Poison HelpNational Poison Prevention Week
March 15 – 21

In support of National Poison Prevention Week, March 15-21, the Minnesota Poison Control System and Safe Kids Minnesota are offering simple suggestions to keep children safe. The organizations emphasize that poisonings can happen anytime, anywhere, and to anyone.

The Poison Center states that about 50 percent of poisonings occur in children under the age of six and 94% of poisonings occur in the home. Recent research from Safe Kids Worldwide found that only 4% of parents expressed concerns about poisoning compared to other injury hazards in the home. In another Safe Kids report, 77% of children’s poison-related emergency room visits were related to exposure to medications belonging to a parent or grandparent.

To prevent these incidents, the Poison Center and Safe Kids Minnesota offer these important tips for families:

  • Program the nationwide Poison Help number (1-800-222-1222) into your cell or home phones.
  • Keep medicines and household products in their original containers.
  • Keep all medicines and household products up high and out of sight or locked up. If visitors are expected in your home, make sure suitcases and purses are stored out of children’s reach; remind visitors to take responsibility for their own medications.
  • Take the time to read and follow the label before taking or giving medicine.

Key Facts About the Minnesota Poison Control System

Anytime, anywhere, anyone can call the Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222.

Anytime: The Poison Center Emergency Call Center is available 24/7/365. It’s free and confidential.

Anywhere: In 2014, the Poison Center managed 48,446 calls statewide from homes, schools, workplaces, and health care facilities statewide.

Anyone can call for help managing poison emergencies including; parents, caregivers, community members, emergency medical personnel, nurses, and physicians.

The Poison Center saves lives and money throughout Minnesota. Every dollar spent on Poison Center services saves over $13 in unnecessary medical costs. Ninety-one percent of exposures in the home are safely managed at home with expert consultation.

In 2014, Poison Center services saved Minnesotans $35 million in health care and lost productivity costs and prevented 27,000 unnecessary Emergency Department visits.

Visit or for more prevention tips, educational resources, and downloadable materials. Follow The Poison Center on Twitter @mnpoisoncenter or on Facebook.

The Minnesota Poison Control System is located at Hennepin County Medical Center. The Poison Center is designated by the Minnesota Department of Health to provide poison information and consultative services to the entire State of Minnesota.

Safe Kids Minnesota works to prevent unintentional childhood injury, the number one cause of death for children in the United States. Safe Kids Minnesota is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations dedicated to preventing unintentional injury. Safe Kids Minnesota was founded in 1988 and is led by the Minnesota Safety Council. For more information, visit   or

Glow sticks: safe to wear – but not to eat!

177682286Glow sticks, bracelets, and necklaces have become part of the Halloween experience. These toys are cheap, portable, and emit a colorful glow making them perfect to increase visibility of children while trick or treating.   

A glow stick consists of a small, fragile plastic or  glass vial containing a chemical activator housed inside a larger plastic vial containing the dye solution.  When the inactivated glow stick is bent, the glass vial breaks allowing the previously separated chemicals to mix.  The resulting chemical reaction causes a non-heat generating light emission.  While these chemicals are not very poisonous, the chemicals can irritate the skin and eyes.  If swallowed, the chemicals can cause a burning feeling.

If a child inadvertently breaks or chews through a glow stick or there are other questions regarding potential poisoning, call the Minnesota Poison Control System at 1-800-222-1222 for treatment recommendations.   Information about the Minnesota Poison Control System can be found at

Poison Help
The Minnesota Poison Control System is a cooperative effort between the Minnesota Department of Health and Hennepin Regional Poison Center.   Hennepin Regional Poison Center is designated by the Minnesota Department of Health to provide poison information and consultative services to the entire State of Minnesota.