The Florida Poison Information Center, located on the campus of Shands Jacksonville Medical Center at the University of Florida, is a twenty-four hour resource for Florida parents to protect their children. The center serves forty two Florida counties and the Virgin Islands and fields around sixty seven thousand calls each year.
All emergency calls are answered by specialists such as nurses, pharmacists, or physicians trained in the latest poison assessment and management methods. All specialists must pass a national exam to earn the certification required to answer the phones.
According to experts at the center, nine out of every ten calls they receive involve a child under the age of six. The most common causes of poisoning for children are cosmetics and other personal care products, household cleaners, medical ointments and medications. Thanks to the hotline, nine out of ten callers can resolve the issue at home and avoid a trip to the hospital. Overall child deaths from poisoning have been reduced eighty percent in the last fifty years.
Parents, grandparents, babysitters or others who may have a child present in their home need to inspect their home for poisonous materials very carefully. Most people do not think of cosmetics as poisonous, but they can be very attractive to young children and harmful if swallowed.
The Florida Poison Information Center is a wonderful resource for Jacksonville parents and child caregivers. The service can be reached at (800) 222-1222.
Read more about possible poisons and the efforts of the Florida Poison Information Center at Poison control: Jacksonville’s busy center.