When I was a kid, my mom put those iconic green Mr. Yuk stickers on things like rubbing alcohol and kept the number of the Poison Control Center handy. Today, I rarely (if ever) see poison control stickers in households.
This begs the question: have Poison Control Centers lost their place in today’s families? In the era of googling our medical symptoms and posting about that weird rash on Facebook, I want to make a pitch for making a phone call to the Poison Control Center instead if you’ve got a poisoning on your hands. While I myself am certainly guilty of googling medical symptoms, let me tell you a couple of reasons why Poison Control > the internet.
- You’ll speak to a real person who can give you real feedback about the best course of action.
- You’ll get a qualified, legit specialist.
- You’ll get advice specific to your exposure.
- Their advice can help you get to the right place (doctor’s office, ER, or Urgent Care), which can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in medical expenses- think the cost of a simple copay vs. an expensive ER bill).
- It’s completely free.
Things get crazy around the holidays. So when Grandma mixes up her meds with the dog’s meds, or when you find the toddler eating the mistletoe, remember that there are doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and toxicologists whose job it is to help.
Poison Control: 1-800-222-1222
Note: Poison Control is not a government agency, nor do I have any affiliation with the organization.