Illinois Poison Center hotline 1-800-222-1222
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In an Emergency

1. Call the Poison Center Helpline (1-800-222-1222) if you or another person have been exposed to something that might cause an unwanted and/or unexpected reaction.


2. Remain calm - the majority of poison emergencies can be resolved quickly; over the phone


3. Call 9-1-1 if the person is unconscious or has difficulty breathing.





Jan 17, 2018
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To share your IPC story click on Tell Us Your Story or visit our  Facebook page.





"I needed to seal openings around a heating pipe in the bathroom of my apartment so I used Fire Block Sealant. I took all precautions: read the instructions, wore protective gloves and mask, etc.  Unfortunately, the ladder I was standing on, while using the Fire Block, wobbled and the Fire Block Sealant splattered all over my arms. I was very concerned about the shiny, orange splotches on my arms.
For 45 minutes, I tried various recommended products to clean off the chemical (soap and water, Vaseline, rubbing alcohol) but nothing seemed to work. I then realized that this might be a big deal. I didn’t know if it would penetrate my skin. I was ready to head to the ER but then remembered learning about the IL Poison Center when I was a babysitter, which I did a lot, but luckily never had to call. So, I looked up the 800 number for poison control.
Amy, from the Illinois Poison Control, quickly answered my call. She was quite helpful. She said the product could be very toxic but that didn’t mean it was going to hurt me. She told me exactly what to do and it worked. She was such a calming force and I didn’t have to go to the ER! I immediately felt better after speaking to Amy.
I would highly recommend to everyone to save the 1.800.222.1222 helpline to their phones. Accidents happen. If unsure if something can be harmful, just call! The ER can be very costly and time consumingI think most people only think of the IPC when a child is involved in a toxic situation but as adults, we come in contact with so many potentially toxic substances all the time."



Mary Jacobson:


"Returning from vacation, because my pills were in a different box from the dated box I usually use, I accidentally took an additional dose of my cardiac medication in the morning.  I take a lot of medication, especially in the morning, and have trouble keeping it all straight since much of it looks alike.  

I had the IPC helpline # posted in my kitchen. I called because I didn’t know if the extra medication would do something to me.  It was late at night. A young man came on the line and said he was there to help me and he sure did.  He wanted to look something up and said he’d call me back… and he sure did in 5 min!  When he called me back, he told me what I needed to know and that I should be fine and to call if I had any further questions or concerns.  It was a very soothing and reassuring phone call.  He saved my life because I really didn’t know what to do.  
 I had called the IPC once before with a question but never for an emergency.
If not for the IPC helpline, I would have had to awaken my husband and probably would have gone to the ER.
He (Tony) should get a raise.  I don’t have enough money to pay Tony for what he did for me that night.  He relieved my worries and I went to sleep knowing I was going to be ok."
Maureen Murphy RN, MS, MBA-School Nurse:
"I’ve called 3 times in last couple of weeks after asking…“You did what?”:
The first time I called, I felt a little intimidated (and I’m not usually or easily intimidated) but Tony (IPC call center staff) was so nice and kind, I knew I was in the right spot/place.  I called about:
1.       Disposable ice pack (the kind you whack to start the cold process) that a curious 5th grader broke open and drank a portion of it.
2.       Shaving cream in the eyes and mouth as a result of a pie throwing event and afterwards while playing around with the others and the shaving cream.
3.       Bleach in the eyes and skin as a result of the children using a spray bottle with a bleach solution to clean a room.  The spray nozzle was faced towards them instead of in the direction of the table and accidentally sprayed themselves in the face.
Tony took 2 of the calls and even called me back after one of the calls.  He called right on the hour he said he’d call me to check on the child (right before I was about to call him back) .  
In my first career, I trained some of the branch people on our World Class Customer Service initiative, so I recognize and appreciate good customer service when I receive it.  There’s nothing like this type of service anymore…anywhere! The IPC has proved itself to me and I won’t hesitate to call again."



Chicago Resident: 


“I was looking for a spray bottle to use to spray water on the blouses I was ironing.  The only spray bottle I could find was the Windex bottle so I poured the Windex solution (clear liquid) into a glass and filled the Windex bottle with water.  While ironing and listening to a video, I reached for the glass and took a drink, momentarily forgetting that the glass had Windex solution in it.


It was late at night and everyone was sleeping.  I was new to Chicago and didn’t know what to do, so I called my friend living in Virginia (state) for advice.  She first recommended I go to the ER but I didn’t want to go.  She then called the 1.800.222.1222 Poison Center national helpline and reached the Virginia Poison Center who then called the IL Poison Center and finally transferred my friend to the IL Poison Center.  Matt took the call (from the IPC) and asked my friend if he could call me directly, which he did.  It felt like a neighbor coming to help.  I was feeling alone in the world, but had the feeling I would be ok because someone like Matt was on the phone; so responsive and responsible.  Thank you so much for all that you (IPC) are doing. “ 

Holly Stolp, R.N.:
"The IPC has always provided us with training tools and samples to better the knowledge of our patients. Having a large pediatric practice, we feel this is the best place to start with prevention. Thank you so much for all you do! My only suggestion is we need this information in French as we have a large population of French speaking parents."
Sarah Hamricks, R.N.:
"Matt, from the IPC call center, answered the call and was very calming, reassuring and thorough. He calmed me down and made sure that I didn’t feel like a horrible mom.   After a thorough review of what had happened and what to do next, Matt told me to call back later that day, and ask specifically for him, to let him know how my daughter was (who might have ingested another child's medication).  It was a wonderful, expedient experience. 
A short time after the call, I found the missing pill on the floor, moist but completely intact.  I called Matt to let him know. To make sure the medication, even a lick of the outside, wouldn’t be harmful, he once again thoroughly reviewed the protocol for such an ingestion. 
I recommend to everyone to please keep the 1-800-222-1222 IPC helpline phone number close at hand, post everywhere and save in your phone(s).  You never know when you'll need it.  Luckily, we were able to handle the situation in under 10 minutes, over the phone, and I didn’t have to take my daughter to the ER.  I was able to get her the help she needed quickly by calling the IPC.  I’ve had the IPC info posted around my house for years and never needed it till now (I had called IPC for our hospital/ED patients).  I was so very glad I had it when I needed it!"
Nila Sturlin:
"Thanks for providing free and discounted education materials to IPC volunteer community outreach educators. I recently held a children's medication safety and Illinois Poison Prevention Month (IPPM) event. The event was hosted by OBrien's Pharmacy, a small town community pharmacy in Belvidere, Illinois. I utilized IPC posters, promotional materials, activity packets, and computer games. Thanks again for the materials."
Lynette Waller:
"I really appreciate all the resources you have to help us provide the community with education. Helping us to reinforce the availability of products that children can access without difficulties and ensuring awareness of the seriousness of those potentials cannot be reiterated enough!   Providing clients with the Poison Control number on a sticker or magnet has given us an easy way to stress importance of contacting you (IPC) in case of emergencies.
The seasonal information has been helpful, and I have shared some of the My Child Ate… and other Poison Prevention materials at presentations I have given to parents and child care workers." 


Wayne Bradford:


"I accidentally took my diabetes medicine, Janumet and heart medicine, Coreg, twice within a 4 hour period. I called the nurse on call and she referred me to Mike at IPC. Mike helped me calm down and monitor my blood pressure and blood sugar. He had me call him back at midnight to update him on my situation. Mike was a God send."



Alena Erath:


"I just wanted to let you know I'm an emergency room nurse for 13 years, and have been representing my facility, Centegra Hospital, by teaching first and second graders the importance of poison prevention in the home. I have been doing this for three years with my fellow nurses - doing a presentation about poison in the home, safety, and teaching. I also do a puppet show at the end. As an emergency room nurse your program is beneficial to the emergency room and the community. Please let me know what I can do to help save the Poison Center."  


Deborah V., RN, BSN:


"I'm very thankful to have the IPC helpline as a resource. I work with students who have special needs and it has come in handy.  The Illinois Poison Center is not only a great resource, it provides an opportunity to educate people.  Having that knowledge can never be taken away and in many cases, the information is life saving!"





"I am very thankful for the Poison Center Service in Illinois especially when any of my children ingest something. Because of the service, I am able to call without having to use my local Emergency Room.  Today I was surprised to be placed on hold and to learn the reason why…funding cuts.  I have 4 children under the age of 8.  If not for the Illinois Poison Center, I probably would have called an ambulance which would have been very stressful.  After the follow-up call from the IPC and after learning more about the funding crisis,  immediately posted my experience and IPC’s funding issue on my Facebook.  Many of my friends were so surprised and outraged that the IPC could close (June 2014)."



Georgia L.:


"My sister in Florida found my 20 month neice with a cleaning product in her hands and she vomited a few minutes later. I called the Illinois Poison Center. Immediate response was great and Reggie assured myself and my sister that there was no poison and it was only an irritant.  He then offered some (treatment) procedures to follow. After speaking to my sister and calming her down, I realize that my neice probably did not even swallow anything as it was a spray bottle and that she may just have put her mouth to it. Either way, crisis was averted and I was able to keep her from rushing to hospital and insisting on a stomach pump!"




Laurie Berg Photo  Laurie B.:


"I'm an ER nurse, and my husband is an ER doc. My husband decided to take an Echinacea, but accidentally left it on the counter after he washed his hands. I found our then 4-year-old nibbling on it, which prompted me to call IPC. The person who took the call was awesome, and luckily, our son would be fine. Needless to say, we've BOTH called numerous times for more serious reasons...our patients. Tylenol, salicylate, anti-depressant, narcotics, and seizure med ODs. Also, children taking one of grandma's beta blockers, Ativan, and "some yellow pills"! You guys are so terrific, and we couldn't do our job as well without ALL OF YOU!" 



Heather Finnnegan   Heather F.:


"Called 3 times, for the same child!!!!! My now 2 year old has eaten antiperspirant, marshmallows covered in glue/shaving cream, and he got into my Zantac and I wasn't sure how many he had eaten. My guess is that he only nibbled on one. Everyone was so kind and helpful."



Sylvia Wright    Sylwia W.:


"I'm an ER Nurse and call all the time. I called from home once when my toddler got into the tums bottle. Everyone is always so professional and thorough. I love the follow up calls. It's nice to have such an invaluable resource." 




Nelida Ayala  Nelida A.:

"I've called for both personal and professional reasons, also! As an ER nurse I contact you for OD' a mom, I've called when my son ate my husband's medication. On a separate occasion he also drank some "Greenworks" cleaner. All my experiences have always been very positive and it's a great resource! Thanks for your hard work!"



Karin Fabry Bosco   Karin B.:


"Got your magnet up on the fridge....even had to use it once, but soooo thankful it was there!!!!" 




Robert Zavala  Robert Z.:

"I'm a pharmacist and have needed to call the center quite a few times for advice for patients, drug id's, etc. Sorry I missed the deadline for the fundraiser but i will continue sending my donations directly to the center! goodday!"   



Lora M.:


"I am a fan! I am an IL Certified School Nurse and Family Nurse Practitioner who became a Certified Poison Prevention Educator! I appreciate all the great resources that IPC offers that I am able to share with children and their parents. I keep info in my office in English and Spanish. Thank you IPC."  



Crystal W.:


"IPC has done a great job, I have enjoyed doing safety workshops for them over the past 5 years. I look forward to doing more if I will be allowed to at schools, churches, and community centers."


Penny Catchpole Leupold  Penny L.:




"I am a fan! All my pediatric nursing students have/are becoming registered Poison Prevention Educators!"   




Edward Scott   Edward S.:

"As a Pharmacy student at Chicago State College of Pharmacy, one of our most important (and enjoyable) activities is going into the community and doing Poison Prevention Presentations at local elementary schools. Thank you to the IPC for giving us the support we need to keep our community safe for generations!"   



Pat B.: 


"IPC is one of Illinois' most valuable programs. I have used their services many times in the emergency room as well as from home. I can not give enough praise for all of assistance and information I have received. Please keep the Poison Center available to all."



Lynsey Bachman Steiner   Lynsey S.:

"What do you do when you walk in on your 18 month old eating and covered with toothpaste? Call IL poison center! Thank you !"    


Linda Sykes   Linda S.:

"It was great to have the resources you provided for my display during Illinois Poison Prevention Month, especially for our Parent Committee Meeting. Thank you for all you do.  

When my daughters transitioned from newborns to crawling around and ultimately curious toddlers exploring every taste, touch and smell, the poison control hotline was a number I could access in a heartbeat. Add this to your contact list in your cell phone: 1.800.222.1222"  


Dee L.: 


"IPC is so valuable, especially in educating the public. I make sure that I give the IPC phone number to all my new parents. Thank you for what you do!!"



Jeanne Murphy Zelten   Jeanne Z.:

"I have called the IPC as a staff nurse working in the emergency room, as a school nurse and as a parent. The IPC is an invaluable resource for all of us!"   


Michele R.:


"Wonderful staff at the IPC! I called in a panic when my daughter ingested some paint, and Dr. Brown was great. So knowledgeable and helpful-- and very patient with an over-worried mom. :) Thanks IPC!" 



Pam Oliver   Pam O.:

"The IPC is a wonderful resource! I'll never forget the time I called the center in a panic when my then 2 year old daughter pulled some red berries off a bush while we were out of town.. she ingested and I panicked. Your folks kept me calm and told me what to do.  She's 25 now. Just recently you helped my 85 year old mom who accidently took one too many of her medications.  It landed us in the ER, but your folks may have saved her life!  Thank you."   


Anne Porter   Anne P.:

"I am a Healthy Child Care Illinois Child Care Nurse Consultant serving 12 rural counties in Southern Illinois. I do Poison Prevention education for both child care providers and children. This information that I use is from the Illinois Poison Center. I can't imagine not having their support! It would make reaching this vulnerable population much more difficult." 



Barbara W.:


"Rural hospitals and EMS can't function without your assistance. I'm happy to offer my support in the cause to save IL Poison Center."



Faith M.:

"IPC thanks for being there for us. I am an RN in a small ED and we have used your services numerous times. Your whole staff has been incredible!!!!"   



Everyday Life as Lyric Poetry:


"I've only had to call the Poison Control Hotline once in my life (Praise the Lord and Knock on Wood). It was scary, but they were calm and helpful, and their solution did the trick. I'm glad to know they are there."


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Phone: 312-906-6136 TDD: 312-906-6185 Fax: 312-627-8006