Can This App Save Your Life?

Maressa Brown
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poisonNational Poison Prevention Week, which has been around since the U.S. Congress said, "Hey, let's promote poison prevention!" in 1961, will celebrate its 50th year, beginning this coming week of March 21. (I'm not sure it'll be nearly as exciting as The Stir's 1st birthday this past week, but maybe it'll come close!) I get the impression these poison folks were wondering how to make the event fit for the year 2011, and then decided ... "Hey, there's an app for that!"

California Poison Control System (CPCS) is launching a iPhone app called "Choose Your Poison," and you can get it at the Apple app store for free. You can play it as a web game, too. Both versions feature visual trivia, in which you're challenged to choose between two photos -- which are pills and which are candy? Could those orange tabs be ibuprofen or jelly beans?

It's kinda wild to see just how similar some pills look to candy ...

Probably kind of scary, too, considering the idea that a pills could accidentally spill out of your purse or pill case, and a child could think they're actually Tic-Tacs or something. Therein lies the power of knowing about poison prevention!

Richard Geller, M.D., medical and managing director of the California Poison Control System Fresno/Madera Divison, said in a news release for the techy educational tools:

We'd all like to believe that we're smart and savvy when it comes to the way we store medicines and other household items that are toxic. The reality is that it's difficult to determine what's safe and what isn't...

It's not like this is a little problem that doesn't really affect many people, either. It seems like the app could really come in handy to increase all of our overall awareness and knowledge about poisoning. More than two million poisonings are reported every year to poison control centers nationwide and over 90 percent of them happen in the home!! I would guess that means a LOT of pills are getting mistaken as candy?

But thankfully, it seems like more parents are aware of the dangers than not. Geller explains ...

It's truly enlightening when parents take this test and get a score of 75 percent or less. So we're thrilled that this free app can get the test before a large group of people, including those who love to play games on their phones. It's fun but difficult at the same time.

An app that's both educational and entertaining? I have a feeling it could do more than just bolster your knowledge -- it could potentially help save some trips to the E.R.!

Would you download "Choose Your Poison"?


Image via Andrew Kuznetkov/Flickr

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