December 27, 1984
By the President of the United States of America
Between 1962 and 1983, our Nation experienced an 80 percent reduction in childhood poisoning as a result of new, effective safety standards and greater consumer awareness. The number of accidental ingestions of household chemicals, cleaning products, and medicines among children under five years of age dropped from 500,000 to 100,000 during this period.
For the past 24 years, the Poison Prevention Week Council has coordinated a network of health, safety, business, and voluntary organizations to raise public awareness of the problem. In addition, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which administers the Poison Prevention Packaging Act, requires child-resistant closures on many products that are potentially harmful to children.
While these efforts have been very successful, we must not be satisfied with the progress we have made. Because we believe that almost all such poisonings are preventable, we must continue working to reduce this annual toll by reminding parents and other family members of the steps they can take to avert these tragedies. We must remind them to keep household chemicals, cleaning products, and medicines out of the reach of children and to use re-securable, child-resistant closures on these products.
To encourage the American people to learn about the dangers of accidental poisonings and to take preventive measures, the Congress, by joint resolution approved September 26, 1961 (75 Stat. 681), authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation designating the third week of March of each year as ``National Poison Prevention Week.''
Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate the week beginning March 17, 1985, as National Poison Prevention Week. I call upon all Americans to observe this week by participating in appropriate ceremonies and events.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-seventh day of December, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and ninth.
[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 12:20 p.m., December 28, 1984]
Note: The proclamation was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on December 28.