By Michelle Durham

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – This is Poison Control Awareness Week. The facility that handles calls locally is operated by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and serves the entire Philadelphia area.

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What prompts worried parents to call? Managing Director Jeanette Trella explains.

“We commonly get calls on cleaning substances,” she said. “Topical medications because they are typically not in child resistant containers, deodorants and lotions.”

And those phone calls are taken by medical professionals who have received additional training. Registered Nurse Madalyn Egan has been staffing the phones for five years and she describes one of the newer dangers.

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“One of the calls we get that is the most dangerous are the pod laundry detergent calls. They break so quickly when it hits a little one’s mouth. We’ve had some very serious and very tragic cases as a result of those pods.”

Egan can answer up to 60 calls on an 8 hour shift — from police, fire and ems to worried parents. Both Egan and Trella want parents to know no one is judged or reported. The nurses are there to help and would rather you call them immediately.


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