POISONING FACTS FOR OLDER ADULTS
Why Should Older Adults Learn About Poisoning?
Everyone, from infants to older adults, is at risk for a poisoning exposure. Statistics show that 19.9 persons per 1,000 are victims of accidental poisoning.
What Are Some Poisoning Risks?
- Taking extra doses of medicine (prescription or over-the-counter)
- Taking a prescription medication at the wrong time or missing a dose of medication
- Combining medications
- Inhaling carbon monoxide fumes unknowingly from a leaky gas furnace or stove
- Mixing bleach and ammonia (or other cleaning agents), which creates a poisonous gas
How Can Older Adults Stay Safe From Poisons?
- Never mix cleaning products or chemicals.
- Read all labels before using any household product or medication.
- Keep products in their original containbers with their original labels.
- Identify all flowers, bushes and trees in and around your home and find out which ones are poisonous.
Medicine Safety Tips
- Keep all medications in child-resistant containers and out of reach of children.
- Always turn on the light and put on glasses before taking or giving medicine.
- Take all medicines as prescribed, even if you begin to feel better.
- Never take someone else's medicine or share your medicine. The dose might be worng or you may be allergic to the medicine.
- Never mix medicines unless directed by your doctor. Some medicines can cause serious side effcts when mixed together.
- Dispose of old medicines by flushing them down the toilet. Then rinse the container and throw away the empty container.
If you suspect a poisoning, don't wait for symptoms to appear. Call Tennessee Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222. All calls are free and confidential.