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Protecting children from poisoning

26/2013, 18.09.2013

At the World Child Festival, the BfR shows children how they can detect and avert danger at home

With a poison garden, a mushroom station, a smell labyrinth, an art campaign as well as games revolving around the topic of poisoning, the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) makes a contribution to the festival held on the occasion of World Child Day. The festival will take place on Potsdamer Square in Berlin between 11 am and 6 pm on 22 September 2013. At the BfR booth in Alte Potsdamer Straße, children are shown, through various activities, where poisoning hazards lurk. The BfR will also be presenting its new free app "Poisoning Accidents Among Children" featuring direct calls to the nearest poisoning emergency centre.

Germany’s poisoning information centres receive approximately 100,000 calls per year about poisoning accidents involving children. There is a wide variety of causes of poisoning, ranging from pills to washing-up liquid and grill lighter fluid. The BfR booth dedicated to poisoning shows typical poisoning risks.

Children and adults are shown poisonous indoor and garden plants in a “poison garden”. They include the poisonous plants angel’s trumpet, dieffenbachia and monkshood. A mycologist will explain the things to look out for when collecting mushrooms and which ones are to be avoided.

What do liquids such as petrol, dishwashing detergents and decalcifiers smell like? In the smell laboratory, children can test whether they can tell from the smell alone that the contents of a bottle are poisonous. On large photo walls showing kitchen, cellar and garden, everyday objects and the typical things that commonly lead to poisoning accidents involving children are “hidden”. Children and adults thus learn about the danger zones within the household. They are also given tips on safe storage of poisonous substances.

The artist Simone Schander illustrates the topic of poisoning accidents with a painting campaign. Natural colours are available for children to produce their own pictures, comics or collages on the subject.

The BfR introduces its new app “Poisoning Accidents Among Children”. The application contains information on the individual components of chemical products, drugs, plants and mushrooms, poisoning symptoms and first aid measures. The option of directly calling up the nearest poisoning emergency centre means that medical advice can be obtained immediately in case poisoning occurs.

On the occasion of the World Child Day 2013, the BfR encourages tweets at #openBfR.

About the BfR

The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) is a scientific institution within the portfolio of the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMELV). It advises the Federal Government and Federal Laender on questions of food, chemical and product safety. The BfR conducts its own research on topics that are closely linked to its assessment tasks.



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