February 5, 1982

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

The pills and medication we use to relieve pain and sickness as well as the products we use in our homes are a boon for the consumer, but they may also be hazardous to the health of our children. Instinctively, very young children place things within reach into their mouths, including household substances which may be poisonous when not used as intended.

The well-being -- even the lives -- of our children depend on parental care and alertness. Medicines and other household products must be stored out of reach and, preferably, out of sight. Unfortunately, the warning, ``Keep Out of Reach of Children,'' has become so commonplace that it is often carelessly ignored. Because children are naturally curious, parents and those responsible for child care must exercise strict supervision and provide the training which can help eliminate cases of accidental poisoning.

Over the years, manufacturers have worked to improve the quality of child-resistant packaging. Local communities have taken the lead in developing programs which stress the use of safety packaging for potentially toxic substances and emphasize the need for their proper storage, handling, and disposal. Poison control centers have streamlined their operations to provide better service to the public by informing consumers of appropriate first aid, improving treatment procedures, and participating in poison prevention programs. Through increased public awareness and cooperation, we can build upon the progress of the past two decades and actually eliminate the serious injuries to our children which result from the abuse of harmful products.

To aid in encouraging the American people to learn of the dangers of accidental poisoning and to take such preventive measures as are warranted, the Congress, by a joint resolution approved September 26, 1961 (75 Stat. 681), requested the President to issue annually a proclamation designating the third week in March as National Poison Prevention Week.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate the week beginning March 21, 1982, as National Poison Prevention Week.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this 5th day of Feb., in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-two, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and sixth.

Ronald Reagan

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 3:59 p.m., February 5, 1982]