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Poison Centers: Here For The Ages

Man pulling suitcase with words: "Wherever you go, our number stays the same."

FOR RELEASE: March 21, 2022

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – During National Poison Prevention Week from March 20-26, the Upstate New York Poison Center reminds you that our staff is here for everyone in our 54-county coverage area 24/7, 365 days a year.

“We are here to help save all lives, at all hours of the day,” said Christine Stork, Pharm.D., DABAT, clinical director of the Upstate New York Poison Center, ”Don’t waste time searching online for an answer, call our poison experts. We are always fast, free, and anonymous.”

This year, ​in recognition of National Poison Prevention Week, we are launching ​a new Poison Prevention Training Program.  This ​new online program is for anyone looking to teach children or adults about poison center services and poison safety. 

“The Poison Prevention Training Program can be ​implemented by parents, community leaders, care givers, ​or teachers,” says Gail Banach, pub​lic education director, “We hope this new training will be easy ​enough to encourage the targeted audience to use ​the program, while help​ing us to spread the message of poison safety across our ​coverage area.”

Once registered, participants who live within our 54-county coverage area will have access to lesson plans, videos, activity sheets and more. Although self-paced, the training can generally be completed in less than an hour and is free of charge.

Following training, "teachers" will have access to all materials of their choice, appropriate to their targeted "students.” Training launched today, March 21st, on our website at: https://bit.ly/3tsiwpS.

Our poison center is also proud to announce a new collaboration with Binghamton University. Our center is conducting research on the use of medication lock boxes. If you would like more information on how to participate, head to: https://bit.ly/3MZFkoG

Also, during the week, the Mayor of Syracuse, Ben Walsh, will announce the City is celebrating and honoring National Poison Prevention Week at a news conference on Thursday March 24th at 11:00 a.m.

All week long, follow us on Facebook and Twitter. We want residents in our 54-county footprint and all healthcare providers to know our availability because “We ARE the call to make for all things poison!”


  • It is best to keep all medicines up, away, and out of sight of children.
  • If possible, store in a medication lock box, where children cannot see or reach them.
  • Use child-resistant packaging and remember that nothing is child-proof.
  • Read the label and follow the directions on medicines and cleaning products.
  • Poisons can look like food or drink. Teach children to ask an adult before eating or drinking anything.

What to Expect When You Call Our Poison Center?

After careful listening, the Poison Specialist will generally tell you one of the following:

  • This is not a problem, there is no need for medical care
    (e.g., A child ate some silica gel crystals found in a shoe box)

  • The history you provided requires the patient be observed for a period of time to be sure s/he will be okay (The Certified Specialist in Poison Information will call back to check on the patient and no medical care is expected)

  • Based on history provided, a trip to a physician or health care facility is necessary
    (The Certified Specialist in Poison information can arrange for an emergency transport if caller agrees)

How Do We Help?

We are here 365 days a year, 24/7. Our 17 Certified Specialists in Poison Information are ready to help in any poison emergency or with a medication question.

Each year our center manages more than 50,000 calls from health care providers, 911 operators, hospitals, industry, schools, and the general public in our 54-county service area. Of these calls:

  • 77% are for unintentional exposures
  • 15% are for information only
  • 90% of calls for children 5 and under can be managed at home and do not require a visit to a doctor and/or a hospital


All events will be on-demand for NPPW 2022! Click on the links below and follow along with us on our Facebook Page all week.

Activities for Children

Poison Prevention Hero Resources:

Tox Tales:

Activities for Teens

Poison Trivia on Kahoot! Resources:

Career Day:

Activity for Adults

Poison Myths vs. Facts

Activity for Older Adults

Poison Brain Games

In the case of a poisoning or for information purposes, call the Upstate New York Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222. We are open 24/7, 365 days a year. Each year our center manages more than 50,000 calls from health care providers, 911 operators, hospitals, industry, schools, and the general public in our 54-county service area.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with the latest information.

About Upstate New York Poison Center

Housed inside Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY, the Upstate New York Poison Center is dedicated to reducing the number, cost and severity of poisonings within its designated 54-county service area as mandated by New York State Law. The Center is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to both health professionals and the general public at 1-800-222-1222.

About Upstate Medical University

SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY, is the only academic medical center in Central New York. It is also the region's largest employer with 9,460 employees. Affiliated with the State University of New York, Upstate's mission is to improve the health of the community through education, biomedical research and health care.