THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
NATIONAL POISON PREVENTION WEEK, 1996
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
As we recognize National Poison Prevention Week, we can be proud of the 35 years of public health efforts that have dramatically reduced the number of childhood deaths caused by poisoning. Measures such as child-resistant packaging and the lifesaving work of poison prevention experts have raised awareness of this important issue and given families and caregivers strategies to safeguard young people from harm.
Nevertheless, the American Association of Poison Control Centers estimates that over one million children each year are exposed to potentially toxic household materials. The Poison Prevention Week Council, a coalition of 38 national organizations dedicated to ending this threat, distributes valuable information to poison control centers, pharmacies, public health departments, and others to aid community poison prevention efforts. In addition, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has long required child-resistant packaging for a number of medicines and household chemicals. The recent development of such packaging that is easier for adults to open will mean more conscientious use of hazardous products and a decreased risk of accidental poisoning.
This week and throughout the year, we must remember that small safety measures -- such as using child-resistant packaging correctly and keeping harmful substances locked away from children -- can save lives. And if a poisoning occurs, a poison control center can offer emergency intervention. By keeping these simple measures in mind, we can better protect our children and make home safety a routine part of our daily lives.
To encourage the American people to learn more about the dangers of accidental poisoning and to take preventive steps, the Congress, by Public Law 87-319 (75 Stat. 681), has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation designating the third week of March of each year as "National Poison Prevention Week."
NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim March 17 through March 23, 1996, as National Poison Prevention Week. I call upon all Americans to observe this week by participating in appropriate ceremonies, activities, and educational programs.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this eleventh day of March, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twentieth.