Poison Center: The Number Your Personal Assistant Needs to Know
Aug 21, 2018
Children frequently put foreign objects or substances in their mouth and sometimes that creates a serious emergency. Poison Centers all over the country have specially-trained nurses or pharmacists at the ready to take your call, 24 hours a day 7 days a week. But, would you know the phone number of your local Poison Center in the event of an emergency?
As good as a Smartphone’s “Personal Assistant” like Siri or Alexa may be, it might still make mistakes. When you need help for your child, you don’t have time for mistakes. Increasingly, more people will simply tell their phone “call poison control.” If you do this though, you may get the wrong number. At our poison center we have recently had several cases where this happened.
The best way to avoid a wrong number is to save the Poison Center number in the contacts on your cell phone. That is because it’s the first place your “Personal Assistant” looks for a number when you ask it to make a call.
The easiest way to do that is to simply text the word “POISON” to 797979. You will quickly receive a response text with the contact, then you can save it in the contacts on your cell phone. The 24/7 emergency number for all poison centers in the US is 1-800-222-1212 and that is what will save to your phone.
If you have a smart speaker at home (such as Amazon Echo or Google Home), syncing your cell phone contacts with your smart speaker will give you access to the helpline when you need it most.
The Central Ohio Poison Center has been a community resource for poison emergencies and poison prevention education for over 60 years. We manage more than 40,000 poisoning each year, from age 0 to 99, anything from medications to cleaning products, laundry pods to snakebites, carbon monoxide gas to mushrooms on your lawn. Click here to learn more about our poison prevention education and assessments.
Henry Spiller is the director of the Central Ohio Poison Center. He has spent more than 30 years in toxicology, with more than 300 publications in the field.
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