Central Poison Control Hotline
now available: 1-800-222-1222
Americans for the first time can use a single, toll-free telephone number to reach a poison control center anywhere in the nation. Callers dialing the number automatically will be linked to the closest poison center.
National poison control officials launched the new national hotline, 1-800-222-1222, in January 2002, applauding it as overdue to coordinate the country’s 65 separately-run poison centers.
The new number is part of a $21.2 million federal effort to update poison control centers across the country.
Half of all calls to poison centers involve preschool-age children, although calls involving adults or elderly persons tend to be more serious. Officials said they would accompany the new national phone number with a print and radio-based education campaign urging children to avoid household poisons and urging parents to post poison control numbers near their phones.
Household cleaners and chemicals make up the bulk of poisonous substances in homes, although perfumes, medications, and spider and animal bites can also lead to poisoning.
To obtain stickers, magnets, and other promotional materials, call the new toll-free number at 1-800-222-1222.