Injury and Violence Prevention News

July 2004
In this issue:
1. Get Your Poisoning Questions Answered
2. More Resources on Drowning Prevention
3. Sharpening Your Knowledge about Lawn Mower Injuries
4. Something to Show To Your Thrift Shop Manager
5. How To Report Product Safety Problems
6. Your Opinion Wanted: Essential Local Activities in Injury and Violence Prevention
7. August 7: Children's Safety Events at Minnesota Zoo

1. Get Your Poisoning Questions Answered

(From Steven Setzer, Education Director, Minnesota Poison Control System)

Don't guess - be sure!
1-800-222-1222

  • A woman finds her daughter with an open bottle of cough and cold medication. She may have drunk up to one-fourth of the bottle. Will she be all right?
  • An elderly man forgets and accidentally takes a double dose of his heart medication. Will this be a problem?
  • A woman got her medication refilled today. The medication looks different from what she has been getting. The pharmacy is closed. Is the medication a generic, or did the pharmacy make a mistake?
  • A man was siphoning gasoline and drank a mouthful. Should he see a doctor?

These and other questions are routinely answered at the Minnesota Poison Control System (MPCS). MPCS is staffed by physician toxicologists and by pharmacists specially certified and trained in poison information. In 2003, the system received 70,351 calls from Minnesota residents asking for advice on exposures to prescription and over-the-counter medications, household cleaners and chemicals, plants and mushrooms, drug abuse, bites and stings, gases, industrial and farm chemicals, pesticides, and food poisoning, among many other things.

Callers do not need to have an exposure to call a poison center with a question. The MPCS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from a toll free number, 1.800.222.1222. This national phone number will connect you directly to the nearest poison center. The American Association of Poison Control Centers reported 2.4 million exposure calls in 2002.

A 1997 study, reported in the Annals of Emergency Medicine, found that for each dollar spent on poison centers, $6.50 was saved in medical spending, mainly by eliminating the need for emergency department care for cases that can be managed safely at home. Poison prevention and other non-emergency information is available from MPCS (612.873.5644).



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2. More Resources on Drowning Prevention

The last issue of Injury and Violence Prevention News linked readers to a new item on drowning in the MDH series, Best Practices in Injury Prevention. The item has been updated with additional resources from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (pool, tub, and spa safety), and the CDC's National Center on Injury Prevention and Control (swimming and other water injuries).



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3. Sharpening Your Knowledge about Lawn Mower Injuries


The Indiana Department of Health prepared, Sharpening Your Knowledge about Lawn Mower Injuries, which includes lawn mower injury prevention tips.



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4. Something to Show To Your Thrift Shop Manager

If you shop at thrift or consignment stores, you know that some of the products for sale are items you haven't seen in a few years. Sometimes that's because newer designs have made the products safer. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has a program, Resale Round-Up, to alert thrift and resale managers to unsafe products that may come in as donations.



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5. How To Report Product Safety Problems

Toys, baby equipment, clothing, storage chests, household products, and all-terrain vehicles are among products with features that have caused injuries or deaths. MDH and the regional Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) office co-sponsored the first-ever Minnesota Product Safety Workshop on May 27, 2004. Minnesota organizations concerned with injury prevention made connections and learned more about CPSC work. The CPSC lists recalled products and encourages consumers to report products they believe are unsafe for investigation Recalls.gov is a collaboration of six federal agencies responsible for recalls on a variety of products.



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6. Your Opinion Wanted: Essential Local Activities in Injury and Violence Prevention

This spring, a group representing local public health agencies and MDH developed a list of essential local public health activities in injury and violence prevention. Members were Bonnie Brueshoff, Dakota County; Mary Marchel, Beltrami County; Rob Fulton, Ramsey County; Marilyn Deling, Olmsted County; Sandy Tubbs, Douglas County; and the following MDH staff: Gail Gentling, Mark Kinde, Pati Maier, Maureen Fuchs, and Evelyn Anderson.

Their work was part of an MDH-wide effort, encompassing seven priority areas, coordinated by the State Community Health Services Advisory Committee. All seven groups made essential local activities framework and comments (see page 15 of the discussion draft for injury and violence prevention recommendations). Suggestions on any part of the document are welcomed.



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7. August 7: Children's Safety Events at Minnesota Zoo

Children and families can earn prizes, play games, and learn about child safety on Saturday, August 7, 2004 at the Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley. Co-sponsors are AAA Clubs of Minnesota, the Minnesota Safety Council, and Subway Restaurants. Events include the AAA Strollerthon from 8-11 a.m. and Subway Sez Safe-a-Rooni from 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Money raised through pledges to the Strollerathon will be used to purchase child safety seats for children from low-income families. Children can ride in strollers or walk, joined by adults, on a five-kilometer (3.2. mile) route. See for details, registration and sponsorship forms and information on prizes.

At the Safe-a-Rooni, kids and adults go on a "safety safari" of games and other hands-on activities, and draw for prizes, including bike helmets.



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Also see > National Center for Injury Prevention & Control (NCIPC), at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for the latest injury prevention news at the national-level.


mdh logo
Injury and Violence Prevention Unit
Minnesota Department of Health
PO BOX 64882
ST PAUL MN 55164-0882
(651) 201-5484
injury.prevention@health.state.mn.us

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