Emergency Department nurses from Centegra Hospital – Woodstock are visiting McHenry County kindergarten classes during March to educate children about household poisons. The visits are a tradition for Centegra Hospital-Woodstock nurses, who have talked to children for more than 25 years as part of National Poison Prevention Month.
Nurses Melissa Nolan, Nicole Beebe and Brandy Weirich speak to children about the importance of asking an adult before they come into contact with potentially dangerous substances. The nurses teach children about substances that look like familiar treats but are actually dangerous, such as how antifreeze looks like Gatorade or how medicines often look like candy. The children also learn a song to remind them to stay away from unfamiliar things
Nolan said, “When I think of Illinois Poison Prevention Month I think of saving lives. Each March for IPPM, I get to visit approximately 2,000 5 and 6-year-old kindergarteners, and although it might sound stressful, it is very rewarding to me. I get the chance to make kids laugh and smile all day with the IPC’s Spike the puppet and teach them how to be safe around potentially poisonous substances. It reminds me why I became a nurse and an Illinois Poison Prevention educator.” The Centegra Hospital-Woodstock Auxiliary supports the project by arranging for the sessions with the schools, purchasing any needed supplies, and collating the educational materials from the Illinois Poison Center.
Michael Wahl, a physician and the managing medical director of the Illinois Poison Center, said poison prevention education is vital to the public’s safety.”By using the entire month of March as a means to increase awareness of this serious health issue, we hope to reduce the incidence and injury caused by poisonings,” Wahl said.If you suspect that someone you know has come into contact with poison of any kind, call (800) 222-1222 to reach the Illinois Poison Center.
Centegra Health System is committed to meeting the healthcare needs of the residents of greater McHenry County and to making services available in multiple and convenient locations, including hospitals in McHenry and Woodstock, Immediate and Primary Care Centers, Centegra Sage Cancer Center, Health Bridge Fitness Centers and more. As the region’s leading healthcare provider, Centegra Health System continues to bring the latest treatments and technology, along with the skills of nearly 4,000 medical professionals, to meet the needs of the growing McHenry County community.