National Poison Prevention Week tips

Keeping people safe from poisonous solids, liquids, sprays and gases is the focus of National Poison Prevention Week, March 15-21, 2020.

Established in 1961 by Congress, National Poison Prevention Week seeks to raise awareness, reduce unintentional poisonings, and promote poison prevention. It is sponsored by the National Poison Prevention Week Council, a division of Health Resources & Services Administration of the U.S. government.

“Unintentional digestion of poisonous materials can have lasting harmful effects,” says Daniel Marshall, vice president of marketing and business development with Scepter™. “Items that can be found around the home, such as batteries, lighter fluid, gasoline and even nail polish remover, should be safety stored away from children.”

Keeping Fuel Away from Children

According to the 2019 National Poison Prevention Week presidential proclamation, more than 90 percent of accidental poisonings occur in the home, and children are particularly vulnerable. The proclamation states that each year, an average of 85,000 children visit emergency rooms across the country to receive care after exposure to poison.

Fuel is a poison that should be kept securely away from children. More than a decade ago the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission mandated specially-designed safety operating systems be added to fuel containers to add a layer of child safety regarding fuel containers. Additional rulings and standard updates have taken place since that time, all with the goal of keeping children safe from fuel.

While first generations of the child-safety operating systems were difficult to use, recent changes have gained widespread approval from homeowners. Over the years, manufacturers have fine-tuned child-resistant containers, making them easier for general operation but still difficult for children to use.

10 Fuel Safety Tips

According to Marshall, even adults can make a mistake when dealing with fuel and fuel containers. Key safety tips to keep in mind during National Poison Prevention Week and throughout the year include:

Tip #1 - Never siphon fuel by mouth. Tip #2 – Recognize that fuel vapors can be ignited by an ignition source many feet away; do not smoke when using a fuel container. Tip #3 – Avoid prolonged breathing of fuel vapors and remember to store and use fuel in well-ventilated areas. Tip #4 – Keep fuel containers away from flame, pilot lights, stoves, heaters, electric motors and other sources of ignition. Tip #5 – Keep fuel containers closed and out of reach of children and pets. Safely store them in a garage, barn or shed. Tip #6 – Never remove or alter the flame mitigation devise (FMD) inside the opening of the container. The FMD is a safety device intended to reduce the chance of some types of fires and explosions. Tip #7 – Do not pour fuel directly onto or near a flame, coals, embers or any other source of ignition. And never use fuel to start or accelerate a fire. Tip #8 – Use fuel containers outdoors only; storing or using gasoline in the home or in a vehicle is a health hazard. Tip #9 – Never try to kill ant hills or bee hives by pouring gasoline on them; fuel should never be used for these purposes. Tip #10 – Gasoline can be fatal if swallowed. Do not induce vomiting. Call 911 immediately. For more insights visit the HRSA poison help document.