By the President of the United States of America
Children are the future of our country, and protecting them is America's most sacred responsibility. All of us-government leaders, citizens, parents-are bound to do whatever we can to keep them safe and healthy. Simple safety measures-such as using child-resistant packaging correctly, locking cupboards, keeping prescriptions and cleaning supplies out of the reach of a child's hands-all can protect our most precious resource from the dangers of poison and other hazardous substances.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has made great progress in safeguarding our young people by mandating child-resistant packaging for medicine and dangerous chemicals. And the invaluable work of the Nation's poison control centers has saved countless lives, both young and old. These public health efforts have reduced childhood poisoning deaths from 450 in 1961 to 62 in 1991.
However, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, nearly 1 million children each year are exposed to potentially poisonous medicines and household chemicals. Every year we lose children to poisoning-and almost all of these poisonings are preventable. This week-and every week-we must rededicate ourselves to informing everyone of the importance of prevention and to educating all caregivers about ways to prevent childhood poisonings.
To encourage the American people to learn more about the dangers of accidental poisonings and to take more preventive measures, the Congress, by Public Law 87-319 (75 Stat. 681), has 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, William J. Clinton, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the week beginning March 19, 1995, as National Poison Prevention Week. I call upon all Americans to observe this week by participating in appropriate ceremonies and activities.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this fifteenth day of February, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-five, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and nineteenth.
William J. Clinton
[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 11:17 a.m., February 16, 1995]