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News Releases

For Immediate Release

Mr. Yuk Turns 30

Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Celebrates 30 Years of Poison Education

Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh announced today that Mr. Yuk, the mean, green poison warning symbol, turns 30 just in time for this year’s National Poison Prevention Month (March). In 1971, Mr. Yuk was created by the Pittsburgh Poison Center at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. Since then, harmful substances around the world have adorned his scowling face to alert young children of the danger inside.

Last year alone Children’s Hospital distributed 42 million Mr. Yuk stickers. Americans have introduced him to children in Europe, Asia and Iceland. Corporations have placed his face on the product labels of hazardous materials, and publishing companies have used the symbol in textbooks and standardized tests to represent poisons. Mr. Yuk was the first and is now the largest and most effective poison education symbol in the nation.

To celebrate Yuk’s birthday, National Poison Prevention Month (March) and National Poison Prevention Week (March 18–24), Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh has added three items to the educational curriculum: Poison Prevention Flash Cards; Punch Out the Poisons Game and the re-release of the Mr. Yuk Theme Song.

  • Poison Prevention Flash Cards, similar to mathematics flash cards, teach children the four forms of poisons - solids, liquids, sprays and invisible substances.
  • Punch Out the Poisons Game is a fun, interactive game that directs players to "punch out" perforated game pieces that represent common household products. Players must then place pieces in the "Harmful" slot or the "Not Harmful" slot.
  • The Mr. Yuk Theme Song is back! This popular song was broadcast on radio and television during the early 1970s and is still easily recognizable by adults in the western Pennsylvania region.

To obtain any of these items or other fun and educational poison education materials including the ever-popular Mr. Yuk stickers, visit the hospital’s Web site at or call 412-692-5315.

The Pittsburgh Poison Center at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh answers calls 24 hours-a-day, seven days a week and serves nearly 4 million residents in 25 counties. The center receives approximately 78,000 poison inquiries each year. It also developed a hospital-based poison treatment system involving 70 hospitals in western Pennsylvania. Twelve national businesses and industrial corporations rely on the center for poison consultation. Poison Center staff are highly trained clinical toxicology nurse specialists.

EDITORS’ NOTE: Copies of all poison education materials, Mr. Yuk Stickers and the Mr. Yuk Theme Song are available to all media upon request. In addition, Ed Krenzelok, PharmD, director of the Pittsburgh Poison Center, is available for television, radio and print interviews. For poison prevention tips or detailed information about our poison education materials, click here.

Tracy Petras, 412-692-5016,

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