Poison Control Centers


The American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC), the nation’s expert resource for poison and drug guidelines, has provided urgently needed information and treatment advice to millions of people for decades. AAPCC’s Poison Help hotline—1-800-222-1222—has been included in the Scouts BSA Handbook for almost as long. A website, PoisonHelp.org, is the latest development in the association’s ongoing commitment to saving lives.


Founded in 1958, the AAPCC represents 55 poison control centers nationwide. This group makes vital information and advice accessible for the entire U.S. population each year, 24 hours a day. Public contact is made every eight seconds.

Poisoning is one of the leading causes of injury deaths in the United States, and the rate of these fatalities increases every year. Based on this trend—and knowing that consumers today are looking for online resources—the AAPCC determined access to consistent and accurate poison-related information needed to be developed.

Questions posed to the Poison Help hotline via the website or by phone are answered by a team of nurses, pharmacists, and doctors with special training in toxicology and how to manage poisonings. These professionals are there to immediately answer questions and to recommend the best next steps if someone has been exposed to poison, a potentially toxic product or medication. These services are free and confidential.

Scouters and Scouts can use PoisonHelp.org anytime there is a question of exposure to a potentially poisonous agent in the field, at camp, at home, or at a meeting site. A key part of being prepared in a case of poisoning is having quick access to reliable, lifesaving information, and there are now two ways to get it:

Call 1-800-222-1222 or go online to PoisonHelp.org