As a child, I remember the poison control hotline phone number on a sticker by our phone. I knew this was a place I could call if I accidentally swallowed something I should not. I also saw this sticker in the homes of the families I babysat.
As a teacher, we once had to call our local poison control when I a student drank some fertilizer the gardener had left out in a soda bottle. We were thankful to have this number to call to know what course of action needed or did not need to be taken.
What if there was no number to call? What if there was no poison control?
If you live in Illinois, this is exactly the scenario you are facing.
The Illinois Poison Center (IPC) will close on July 1, 2014 – leaving Illinois as the only state without Poison Control Services – unless the legislature acts to provide a sustainable, long-term funding source for the IPC. The Senate has passed the ‘2 Cent Solution” and the bill is waiting action in the state house.
Save the IPC is a campaign to raise awareness and activate citizens to let their state know they value state poison control.
ABOUT THE IPC
The Illinois Poison Center serves as a first responder for Illinoisans facing poisoning emergencies, ensuring access to timely poison prevention and treatment services for our children, seniors and families.
THE CDC AGREES
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), poisoning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury related death in the United States.
The IPC’s 24-hour toll-free helpline cares for nearly 82,000 calls from Illinoisans annually, with nearly 49 percent of these cases involving children ages five and under.
Can you imagine being a parent in Illinois and not having a toll-free, 24-hour number to call when you child has accidentally drank some household cleaner?
The proposed solution to continue funding the IPC is simple. It is called the 2 Cent Solution:
First responder systems like 911 are funded through monthly surcharges on your landline and cell phone bills. The 2 Cent Solution would reallocate 2 cents of this surcharge to fund the IPC and prevent its closure. This reallocation would not increase taxes or cell phone bills, nor would it affect current 911 funding.
This is a long-term solution to save this non-profit resource. Without it, these questions will have to be fielded by an already strained 911 system. If the solution does not pass, Illinois will become the first state not to have a poison control center.
There are just 43 days to save this essential resource in Illinois!