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Childrens Hospital, Navicent Health Encourages Caregivers to Be Aware of Harmful Chemicals

Atrium Health Navicent Beverly Knight Olson Children's Hospital (CHNH) encourages the community to take note of potentially deadly chemicals that could cause harm to children during National Poison Prevention Week, observed March 19-25, 2017.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), poisoning is the leading cause of injury-related death in the U.S. Annually, nearly half of all poison exposure cases managed by poison control centers nationwide involve children under the age of six. Cosmetics and personal care products, household cleaners, and both prescription and over-the-counter medications are the leading substances involved.

"Children are naturally curious, and they are fast! It only takes a few moments for a child to get into something that could cause harm. There are many common products in our households that adults may overlook, but that could be harmful and even fatal to children if ingested. We would like to use this week to encourage parents and caregivers to lock over-the-counter and prescription medications, as well as other potentially toxic substances, out of reach of children," said Rogelio de la Cruz, M.D., Medical Director of Pediatric Emergency Center, Atrium Health Navicent.

Caregivers are encouraged to prepare for poison emergencies by programming the national Poison Helpline (1-800-222-1222) into their phones and posting it in a visible location. Healthcare professionals at the Poison Helpline are available 24 hours a day to answer questions about medications, household products, chemicals, bites and stings, plants and mushrooms, and many other potentially toxic items.

Pediatric Emergency Center, Atrium Health Navicent is also available 24 hours a day if poison exposure does occur. Atrium Health Navicent's Pediatric Emergency Center, located at 770 Pine Street in Macon, is designed solely for the care of children and provides immediate access to Atrium Health Navicent Beverly Knight Olson Children's Hospital, the region's only provider of comprehensive pediatric care.

Since 1962, the President of the United States has proclaimed the third week of March as National Poison Prevention Week. The American Association of Poison Control Centers and poison prevention partners nationwide will raise public awareness of the dangers of poisonings and how to prevent them during this week. While more than 90 percent of poison exposures occur in the home, exposures may also occur in the workplace, schools and other locations and may affect teenagers and adults as well as children.

About Atrium Health Navicent

Atrium Health Navicent was incorporated on November 17, 1994, as a nonprofit corporation whose primary purpose is to coordinate the Medical Center, Navicent Health and other affiliated entities in their mission of providing a comprehensive continuum of high quality, reasonably priced healthcare services to the region. Atrium Health Navicent has 830 beds for medical, surgical, rehabilitation and hospice purposes. The health system includes The Medical Center, Navicent Health, a nationally recognized tertiary teaching hospital; Atrium Health Navicent Beverly Knight Olson Children's Hospital, the region's only dedicated pediatric hospital; Medical Center of Peach County, Atrium Health Navicent, a rural critical access hospital; Rehabilitation Hospital, Atrium Health Navicent, the region's oldest and most experienced rehabilitation provider; Pine Pointe, Atrium Health Navicent, which provides palliative and hospice care in homes and in its facility; Carlyle Place, Atrium Health Navicent, the area's first continuing care retirement community; Navicent Health Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Atrium Health Navicent; as well as diagnostic and home care services. For more information, please visit