Poisonings are far more common than we realize.
And they are far more deadly, too.
In fact, drug-related poisonings cause 700,000 trips to the emergency room each year and cause 35,000 deaths per year.
Who is at risk? Everyone. This isn't just a case of a child climbing under the sink and eating a detergent or cleaning product or finding a pill on the floor and swallowing it. That does happen.
And while children under the age of 6 account for more than half of poisonings each year, more than 9 out of 10 deaths occur in people older than 20. The misuse of medicine, whether it's intentional or not, is the leading cause of poisoning deaths.
National Poison Prevention Week is observed this week. Perhaps one of the greatest prevention efforts we have is the ability to pick up the phone and being able to dial 1-800-222-1222.
Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, by dialing that number you will be immediately connected to a staff member of the West Virginia Poison Control Center. Those answering the calls include nurses, pharmacists and physicians with special training in the treatment of poisonings.
By dialing one simple number, poison control specialists can answer questions about: Accidental poisonings of children and adults, drug overdoses, bites and stings; reactions to drugs and chemicals; drug interactions; poisoning of animals; chronic lead poisoning; toxic or non-toxic plant information; and poisonings from drugs of abuse.
And while parents, guardians and caretakers of children under the age of of 6 are frequent callers to the West Virginia Poison Control Center, keep in mind that the center is also used by emergency officials and health-care providers, too, to get important information about diagnosing and treating poisoning.
Of course, an ounce of prevention is more valuable than a pound of cure, so just knowing about the risks in your home or workplace will help you in the event of an emergency. Also, keep important information about medicines used in your household, like dosages and who takes what and how often.
Also. post poison control's number on your refrigerator or bulletin board. Program 1-800-222-1222 into your cell phone under "Poison Control." Not having to take precious seconds to track down a number could literally save a life.
Poisonings are far more common than we realize.
State must convince parents, schools about benefits of Common Core
It’s always nice to have a little bit of background information before diving into something new.
So we have to agree with West Virginia Board of Education president Gayle Manchin when she says the state should have done a better job of explaining Common Core standards when they were first introduced.
Those standards, part of a national educational initiative that sets learning goals designed to prepare students in kindergarten through 12th grade for college and career, will be fully implemented in every West Virginia school district next month.
Time is now for Tomblin to support King Coal Highway
U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., is asking Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to add the King Coal Highway project to West Virginia’s six-year highway improvement plan. It is a logical request, and one that Tomblin should act promptly on.
United effort to keep NASA in Fairmont is essential project
The high-technology sector is obviously vital to the economy of North Central West Virginia.
That’s why a strong, united effort to keep the NASA Independent Verification and Validation Program in Fairmont is absolutely essential.
COLUMN: Calling all readers: Be heard
I love to talk to readers.
I love to hear concerns they have about stories we’ve written, things they think should be included in the newspaper and things they think shouldn’t be.
Korean War veterans are deserving of a memorial
NEEDED: A total of $10,000 for the Korean War Memorial this year.
And a good man has been placed in charge of the funding. Charlie Reese, former president of the Marion County Chamber of Commerce, is now director of the Marion County Development Office. His task was to make a recommendation as to what steps are necessary to keep the project moving.
Roll up your sleeves, give blood and you can save lives
It takes up to 100 units of blood to save the life of someone who sustains life-threatening injuries in a vehicle accident.
We’re hoping that the number of people who come to Fairmont Senior High School on Friday for and American Red Cross blood drive will exceed that amount.
Vehicles and motorcycles must share the road safely
The days are long. The weather is superb. There’s plenty of leisure time in these lazy days of summer.
It’s the perfect time to take a long motorcycle ride.
It’s also the perfect opportunity for us to take the time to remind not only riders but drivers of the need to share the road. And we feel compelled to mention it because just within the month of July, there have been two motorcycle-versus-car accidents within the City of Fairmont alone — one with severe injuries sustained by the motorcyclist and the other with less serious injury.
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Distracted driving: It isn’t worth fine or a life
Today marks the day that police agencies from six states are joining forces to crack down on one thing — distracted driving.
And they will focus on that traffic violation for a solid week, with the stepped-up effort to curb distracted driving wrapping up on Saturday, July 26.
COLUMN: Are we people watchers or people judgers?
Let me tell you about my little friend Robby. Well, actually, it’s more about his family and especially his mom. I didn’t get her name. I heard Robby’s name quite a bit, though, during a trip home from Birmingham, Alabama.
I noticed the family in the Birmingham airport immediately. They were just the kind of family you’d notice.
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