.
 

Teaching Seniors

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.

Save the hotline phone number in your cell phone (1-800-222-1222). 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.  

This page was last updated April 7, 2014 and is maintained by