Each year, more than 2 million poisonings are reported to the 61 poison control centers across America. The vast majority of those poisonings occur in the home. And while poisoning remains one of the leading causes of death in adults, it is perhaps more unsettling to know that the majority of non-fatal poisonings occur in children who are younger than six years old.
That’s one big reason why Elk Regional Health Center again teamed up with a number of local elementary schools to teach children about poison and to educate them about the dangerous substances they should avoid. ERHC volunteers brought the Mr. Yuk program to several area elementary schools, including Fox Township, St. Boniface, St. Leo’s in Ridgway, Emporium, Johnsonburg and all the schools in St. Marys.
Mr. Yuk is a poison prevention and education program that targets kindergarten students. Throughout Poison Prevention Week, which this year was March 14-20, Mr. Yuk visited several elementary schools. The children were given Mr. Yuk stickers, a poison prevention coloring book and a guide to poisons in the home.
“The Mr. Yuk program is a wonderful education tool to teach youngsters about poisons before they get into something that can harm them,’’ said Greg Bauer, ERHS’s president and CEO. “It’s rewarding to know Elk Regional can help prevent a child from getting into something poisonous. We appreciate the St. Marys Rotary Club for their funding support each year. The Mr. Yuk program is really a wonderful one.”
Photo: Kathy Raspatello, an ERHC employee and volunteer, and Mr. Yuk are pictured with Mrs. Tompkins’ class from the Cameron County school.