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News Releases

For Immediate Release

Mr. Yuk, the Face of the Pittsburgh Poison Center at Children's Kicks Off 2005 with Appearances in State and National Publications

Mr. Yuk, the international symbol for poison prevention created at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh 34 years ago this month, is getting some national exposure in 2005 to help educate the public about preventing accidental poisonings.

Mr. Yuk is featured in a new book celebrating the 75th anniversary of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The book, "Dedicated to the Health of All Children," celebrates the AAP from 1930-2005. The book can be ordered by visiting the AAP Web site at Mr. Yuk, the scowling green face created in 1971 at the Pittsburgh Poison Center (PPC) at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh to warn kids about dangerous substances, is featured in a section of the book about poison control centers.

The Pittsburgh Poison Center and Mr. Yuk are also featured in the Winter 2005 edition of the Early Childhood Health Link, a publication of the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Pennsylvania chapter of the AAP. This publication is sent to 15,000 subscribers statewide.

"Having Mr. Yuk featured in these two important health publications further enhances our ability to reach children and families regionally, statewide and all over the globe with information about poison prevention and education," said Edward P. Krenzelok, PharmD, director of the PPC. "There are more than 100,000 poison exposures in Pennsylvania each year. Through our extensive poison prevention efforts, we are able to warn many families about the dangers of common household items."

The PPC answers poisoning-related calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week and serves nearly 6 million residents in 44 counties in western Pennsylvania. In 2004, the PPC received more than 120,000 calls, including 67,000 poisoning exposure calls and 61,000 calls for information and poison prevention materials.

Slightly more than half of poisonings handled by the PPC each year involve children less than 6 years of age, Dr. Krenzelok said. Poisonings typically occur when medications, household cleaners, cosmetics, plants or other toxic substances are left within the reach of children.

Also in 2004, the PPC distributed more than 5 million Mr. Yuk stickers and more than 280,000 brochures. For information about obtaining Mr. Yuk stickers or other educational material from the PPC, please visit Children's Web site at Every Mr. Yuk sticker includes the national toll-free poison help telephone number to be used in emergencies - 1-800-222-1222. This number directs the caller to the local poison control center.

Learn more about Mr. Yuk.

Marc Lukasiak, 412-692-5016,
Melanie Finnigan, 412-692-5016,

Last Update
June 9, 2008
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Last Update
June 9, 2008