[Skip to Content]

Upstate New York Poison Center handled nearly 50,000 calls last year

In 2022, Upstate New York Poison Center handled nearly 50,000 cases for a variety of poisons. A growing number of calls last year were for unintentional ingestion of cannabis edibles in children.

Last year, the poison center handled 364 cases concerning all cannabis products for all age groups. By 2022, that number has jumped to just shy of 700 cases. A majority of those calls are for children 5 and under ingesting some form of cannabis edible.

“Our goal is to prevent all poisonings from happening but, in the meantime, we will continue to educate our community about safe storage of cannabis products, medications and other potential poisons commonly available in people's homes,” says the center’s administrative director Michele Caliva. “We remind you we are available to everyone, 24/7/365, whenever you need us, even to just ask a question at 1-800-222-1222.”

Highlights from 2022:
            —93 percent of poison exposures occurred in the home

            —14 percent of the calls were for suspected suicide

            —Most calls about adult poisonings had to do with ingestion of analgesics, household cleaning products, cosmetics/personal care products, antidepressants, sedative/hypnotics/antipsychotics.

            —Most calls about pediatric poisonings were related to ingestion of household cleaning products (bleach, laundry pods); personal care products (hand sanitizers); analgesics (children’s liquid acetaminophen); foreign objects (toys, silica gel, glow sticks); dietary supplements (melatonin).

For a safer 2023, poison center officials offering the following tips:

            —Keep medicines and household products locked up and away, where children cannot see or reach them, preferably in a medication lock box

            —Store poisons in their original containers

            —Use child-resistant packaging, but remember nothing is child-proof

            —Take medicines where children cannot observe

Caption: This display shows the danger of look-a-like poisons. Windshield wash and deicer and windex look identical to sports drinks.