California Poison Control observes National Poison Prevention Week March 20 to 26  

California Poison Control System, the largest single provider of poison control services in the United States, is observing National Poison Prevention Week March 20 to 26. CPCS manages poisoning cases or questions related to topics such as medications, chemicals, drugs, pesticides, work-related hazards, poisonous plants, spiders, and snakes.

“It’s critical that information about how to prevent poisoning becomes more widely known and disseminated,” said Stuart E. Heard, Pharm.D., Executive Director, CPCS. “This year’s theme, ‘Here for the Ages,’ emphasizes that poison exposure can happen to people of all ages and that our Poison Hotline supports people in every decade of life.”

He added that CPCS guides children and adults to be safe from a variety of poisons, including snakes, spiders, button batteries, mushrooms, medicines, vaping, edibles and many other dangerous indoor and outdoor poisons.

A highlight of the week will be CPCS and the Fresno Chaffee Zoo teaming up March 22 for a virtual event on CPCS’s Facebook page to educate California residents about preventing rattlesnake bites.

In addition, CPCS has launched a new StoryMap tool called Let’s Talk Poison:Mapping a Poison-Safe California. This is an interactive tool that teaches people about poison-safety and contains interactive maps showing poison exposure rates by county in California this past year. To view, click

Additional resources for the public include: 

  • A new Health Education Resourcespage to teach the public about poison safety and access free resources, materials, and programs to help minimize poisonings in their community.
  • A quarterly public newsletter called Poison Safety Updates. Folks can sign up at

According to the Centers for Disease Control, every 13 seconds, a U.S. poison control center answers a call about a possible poisoning. Poisonings are a significant health problem in California, resulting in 300,000 calls to CPCS each year — this figure includes information and exposure calls. While poisoning exposures can happen to anyone, about 80 percent of all calls are made from the home, and nearly half of these calls involve children under the age of 6. The most common causes of poisoning among young children are medicines, cosmetics, and personal care products. In most cases, a poison exposure can be safely managed at home, avoiding a call to 911 or a visit to a crowded hospital emergency room. The CPCS toll-free number, (800) 222-1222, is answered quickly by pharmacists, nurses, and poison information providers, free of charge, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

About California Poison Control
For more information about California Poison Control, visit CPCS provides news, tips and poison prevention facts on its Facebook and Twitterpages. Connect to learn more. In case of an accidental poisoning, immediately call (800) 222-1222 (this number works in all states) for advice 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. All calls are handled confidentially. Interpreters for more than 200 languages are available at all times. CPCS also conducts public health surveillance and acts as a community sentinel notifying local and state agencies, the media and the public of potential health threats. The CPCS has four divisions located at UC Davis Medical Center; Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital; Valley Children’s Hospital; and UC San Diego Medical Center. The CPCS is part of the University of California San Francisco School of Pharmacy and responsible to the California Emergency Medical Services Authority.