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Alabama Poison Information Center Experts Provide Free, Lifesaving Support to Callers of All Ages

BIRMINGHAM (March 16, 2020) – Experts at the Alabama Poison Information Center (APIC) handled more than 108,000 incoming and follow-up phone calls in 2019, offering free and confidential poison information and treatment recommendations to the public and health care providers 24 hours a day.

The center, previously known as the Regional Poison Control Center, has been housed at Children’s of Alabama since 1958.

“The top two pediatric exposures in Alabama are household cleaning substances and cosmetics. Other items of concern are medications, vitamins and choking hazards like button/disc batteries. While the majority of calls to APIC are related to children, about 35 percent of the calls concern adults. These calls are often related to medication errors – doubling up on doses or mistaking their spouse’s medications for their own,” said Ann Slattery, director, Alabama Poison Information Center at Children’s of Alabama.

Calls to APIC are answered by nationally certified, specially trained toxicology experts, including nurses and pharmacists. APIC is a fully accredited poison center by the American Association of Poison Control Centers and serves the entire state of Alabama as the only accredited statewide center as designated by the Alabama Department of Public Health.

March 15-21, 2020, is National Poison Prevention Week. “National Poison Prevention Week is an opportunity to highlight the dangers of poisonings for people of all ages and promote community involvement in poisoning prevention,” Slattery said.

APIC experts share these tips to decrease the risk of poison exposures.

  • Program the APIC number, 1-800-222-1222, in your cell phone and post it in an easy-to-see location for babysitters or other caregivers in your home.
  • Keep all medicines and household cleaning products locked up and out of reach.
  • Avoid taking medicine in front of young children. They like to do what adults do.
  • Choose child resistant containers that are hard for children to open. Replace caps tightly after use. Child resistant does not mean child-proof.
  • Call medicine by its proper name. Never call medicine candy.
  • Download APIC’s free app, Poison Perils, to identify potentially dangerous plants, snakes, insects and common household items.
  • When in doubt, check it out. Calls to the Alabama Poison Information Center are always free and confidential. If you're ever concerned about a potential poisoning, just call us and we can help alleviate your fears.