National Poisons Information Centre unveil poison prevention garden at Bloom
31 May 2023: The National Poisons Information Centre (NPIC) at Beaumont Hospital and the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) have today unveiled “The Know, Act, Prevent Garden” at Bord Bia Bloom in the Phoenix Park, Dublin, with the support of the Health Service Executive (HSE) MyChild.ie team. The garden has been designed by Declan McKenna from Monaghan.
The Know, Act, Prevent Garden is designed to raise awareness of the importance of poison prevention within the home and garden, and to highlight the NPIC’s service. The garden demonstrates how to reduce poisoning risks in children and adults by storing garden and household products safely and securely, using chemicals correctly, and having low toxicity plants in the garden.
Speaking at the NPIC Know, Act, Prevent garden, Dr. Edel Duggan, Clinical Director of the NPIC said: “We are delighted to be here today in The Know, Act, Prevent Garden at Bloom with the HSA to raise awareness of the actions we can take to avoid accidental poisoning in the home and garden. Last year the Poisons Information Centre answered over 10,000 enquiries, including 6,374 calls related to poisoning in children. 1 in 5 of these children needed to be referred to hospital. By improving the understanding of potentially toxic agents found in the home and garden, we can ensure greater prevention and safer homes”.
The NPIC shared key poison prevention actions to ensure a safe home and safe garden:
Store household and garden chemicals out of reach and sight of children.
Keep products in their original containers.
Always ensure lids are closed securely on household and chemical products when they are not in use.
Always read the label and follow the instructions for use.
Teach children to always ask if something is safe to eat.
Teach children not to put plant parts in their mouths.
Sinéad McMickan, Senior Chemicals Inspector with the HSA said: “We are delighted to work on the Know, Act, Prevent Garden with the NPIC. The HSA work closely with the NPIC on safety messaging around safe use of chemicals in the home and garden and today we are urging gardeners to read the label of the chemical products they’re using to ensure that the products are properly handled and stored safely. Household chemicals are hazardous, however can often appear attractive to small children so it’s important that chemicals in the home are stored away from young children at all times.”
The Health and Safety Authority have developed the “Use Chemicals Safely – Read the label” leaflet which is available on the HSA website (HSA.ie/chemicals). You can also avail of a free downloadable poster which explains the key hazard symbols that are often used on chemical labelling.
Dr Abigail Collins, National Clinical Lead Child Health Public Health Programme said:
“Children are naturally curious. The more mobile they get, the more adventurous they become. We are often more aware of the potential dangers within the home, but with good weather the garden and garden sheds can become a new source of adventure for children. Thinking of the basics for garden safety at home or visiting family and friends can help children explore and play safely. Make sure that chemicals and garden equipment like lawnmowers, strimmers, and hedge cutters are out of reach. Find advice on how to childproof your home and other safety tips on the HSE’s MyChild.ie”.
The Public Poisons Information Line is available 7 days a week between 8am and 10pm for queries from the public, aimed at parents, where the NPIC can rapidly advise if you need to seek urgent medical attention for your child. Outside of these hours, parents should contact their GP service or a hospital emergency department.
Contact the Public Poisons Information Line on (01) 809 2166.
For further information please contact:
Holly Ryan, Drury Communications
Holly.firstname.lastname@example.org, 086 311 1030
About the National Poisons Information Centre
The National Poisons Information Centre (NPIC) was established in 1966 and provides telephone advice to healthcare professionals and members of the public in the event of poisoning emergencies. More than 10,000 poisoning enquiries are answered annually. The NPIC’s website (www.poisons.ie) has a range of poison prevention resources and tips to help protect children from poisoning (https://poisons.ie/public/poison-prevention-tips/)
About the Health and Safety Authority
The Health and Safety Authority was established under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 1989, which has since been replaced by the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005. The HSA is the national statutory body in Ireland with responsibility for ensuring that approximately 1.8 million workers and those affected by work activity are protected from work-related injury and ill health. The HSA enforce occupational health and safety law, promoting accident prevention, and providing information and advice across all industry sectors.