Program Demonstrations: Facilitate a Poison Prevention Program

This video provides tips on presenting the Poison Prevention Program to students to help them learn ways to control pests while promoting safety in the home.
Program Demonstrations: Facilitate a Poison Prevention Program - Videos


The goal of the video is to provide an overview of the program components, including the content to share with students and ideas for educational materials that can be used for learner engagement. This program can typically be completed with students in a thirty to sixty minute time frame. The program is also suitable for many different age groups and can be adapted depending on your audience.


Kelly Lowery

View Transcript

Hi, I'm Kelly with Penn State Pesticide education.

Today we're going to show you how to facilitate are poison prevention program. This program is suitable and adaptable for many different age levels.

The program contains three lesson objectives. Lesson objective number one is understanding what is a pest. Lesson objective number two is learning about controlling pests in your home. Learning objective number three is identifying signal words and knowing safe practices for chemicals around your home.

We're also going to show you some educational props that you can use when you're presenting this lesson. Our goal today is to make you feel comfortable, and confident to present this lesson. Are lesson objectives provide you with structure but we encourage you to incorporate your own personal experiences and ideas into the lesson.

Lesson objective number one is understanding what a pest is. Begin this objective by explaining the definition of a pest.

A pest is an organism living and growing where it is not wanted.

Pests can cause damage to plants, structures, humans, and other creatures.

A simpler explanation might be pests bother us or pests are living where they're not wanted.

As you teach this be sure to have a sheet that might say pests or if you have access to a whiteboard or blackboard you can write the word pests on that surface, and have your participants say the word pests several times. As you're teaching about what is the pest have your learner share some examples of pests they might have seen around their homes. To encourage the conversation have some visuals available to spark discussion. We have today some stuffed examples of pests. We have insects and rodents.You can also use plastic additions. You dont have to feel like you have to purchase these items if you have books that might have examples of pests in them.

You could have photo cards and fact sheets. You could even have something that you can print out just as long as you have some visual examples a pests that helps the learners be able to identify pests they might have around their home.

Try to have a combination of pests like house insects, mammals, weeds, and within reason you can even bring in a real pest such as a weed you pull from outside or an ant in a jar.

As your learners are sharing example of pests consider sharing some facts and knowledge about that pest.

So for example if someone says about an ant you can share that ants often found in our homes in kitchens because they're looking for food, water, and shelter.

So in the kitchen looking for food crumbs and you can also do some insect biology by teaching your learners that insects have six legs and they have three body parts. So this is your chance to incorporate some personal experience and knowledge as your learners share about the pest. If someone says about a rat or about a mouse you can share that rats are pests because they carry disease into our homes they also get into our food as well as chew electrical wires.

These organisms are pests and what damage they can do in our homes.

A great inclusion also is to share some beneficial creatures like a spider because some people might say a spider in the pest because they're scared of them but then that becomes opportunity to share that a spider is a biological control for other insects or can be beneficial.

You can talk about how a beam might be pest if someone is allergic to bees but these are very important to our food supply because of their role as pollinators.

Trying to have some examples of beneficials becomes a great learning experience to teach them that yes there are pests but they also have a beneficial purpose.

Once you're done sharing the definition of a pest some examples of pests and why those organisms are passed it's time to move on to lessen objective number two. Controlling pests around the home.

When you have a pest in your home chances are you don't want it there My lesson objective number two is learning about controlling pests in your home. Begin this lesson objective by teaching your learners about Integrated Pest Management.

Integrated Pest Management is using a combination of ways to control a pest including cultural, biological, mechanical, and chemical controls. Have a sign that says Integrated Pest Management or right Integrated Pest Management on a blackboard or whiteboard. Have your learners say these words several times. When you teach integrated pest management consider focusing on a certain pest such as a mouse.

Most people have had a mouse in their home and talk about those different control measures.

So we have some visuals here to help us with that.

So we can talk about cultural control which means creating an environment that the pest doesn't wanna be in and to teach learners especially kids you can talk to them about making sure that they're cleaning up their food wrappers, trash, and crumbs so the mouse doesn't have any access to food. You can talk about biological pest control which means that there's an organism that is a predator to your pest. So for the mouse of course a cat is a biological pest control.

For mechanical pest control that means that you have a device that is being used to control the pest.

So for a mouse we have mousetraps there's lots of mousetraps out there.

For chemical control for a mouse we have a mouse poison.

Chemical control means that you are using a poison to control the pest So you can focus on a specific example like a mouse or just teach about the different types of control their part Integrated Pest Management such as talking about using mulch to control weeds and mulch is a cultural control. Also talk about biological control such as the spider that is a biological control for many different insects or even another biological control our ladybug.

The ladybug is a predator to Aphids that can be very destructive to plants.

Another example of mechanical control is a flyswatter that we use in our homes to control flys. We have some other examples of chemical control that can be apart of Integrated Pest Management such as a chemical used to control weeds in the yard or a chemical to control insects.

We shared some visuals that you can use when you're teaching Integrated Pest Management. If you don't use these objects you can also use photos or pictures.

Emphasize to your learners that using Integrated Pest Management means using a combination of ways to control pests.

This includes cultural, biological, mechanical, and chemical. Lesson objective number three is identifying signal words and knowing safe practices for chemicals around your home.

As we discussed in lesson objective number two chemical control is part of Integrated Pest Management.

Pesticides are chemicals used to control those organisms living and growing out of place. Begin this lesson objective by teaching your learners about the signal words. There are four signal words Caution, Warning, Danger, and Danger-Poison. You can print a sheet that has the signal words on them.

We also have a handout available on our website that has the signal words. You could even create a poster that has all the signal words on it. As you're teaching signal words to the learners depending on what age your working with you could either point to the signal word and have them say the signal word. If it's a younger audience you might need to say the signal word and have them repeat it after you. Go through this a couple times so they learn the signal words so they are able to identify them on products. Signal words represent toxicity or how poisonous a product may be. Emphasize that these products can be used safely when used according to the label directions but if not used according to the directions or in some and does accidentally consume or inappropriately contacts the product that's when accidental poisoning can occur. Try to find empty household containers that display each the four signal words.

Bring them as part of your presentation and if you have a smaller group and maybe older students you can have them actually identify the signal word on the product.

Take the bottle around and try to have them point out where the signal word is.

If you have a younger group or have a really larger audience a different approach might be explaining the label use of a product talking about the word that's on the project and asking the group if that's a signal word. So it might go something like this is laundry detergent. We use this to wash our clothes.

The laundry detergent has the word caution on it. Is caution a signal word? Which then the audience would reply yes caution is a signal word.

Which then becomes a chance for you to explain to them that laundry detergent can be used safely to keep our clothes clean but if someone would accidentally ingest this product that's when it becomes poisonous.

Be conscious of several factors when you're doing the signal word identification activity.

If you have a larger group and younger participants you might wanna hold up the product bottles and talk to them about the product use and signal word on it. If it's a smaller group and older participants you might be able to take the product bottles around and have them physically identify the signal word. Use your best judgment.

Any product that has a signal word also needs a Mr. Yuk. Even as older children and adults are able to identify the signal words on a product younger children might not be able to read the signal words. That's why we teach them that Mr. Yuk means to stay away. Any product has a signal word should also get a Mr. Yuk to indicate it could be potentially poisonous it's not used in the right way. Mr Yuk is green so that he is easily seen and identifiable on products. Mr. Yuk has a sick face to indicate that a product could make one sick if it's not used properly.

Mr. Yuk shows the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh trademark to show where Mr.Yuk was created. He displays the phone number for the Poison Control Center which is the number to call in case of an accidental poisoning.

The Poison Control Center number is free to call and open 24 hours a day seven days a week.

Your call is automatically directed to your regional Poison Control Center.

Where medical professionals are able to assist you.

To print Mr. Yuk to use for this portion of the lesson you can visit our website. We have a Mr. Yuk poster.

We also have a Mr. Yuk coloring sheet that you could print and color. In addition to signal words and Mr. Yuk two other important safe chemical practices around your home are making sure that your products are stored in the right location and also leaving product in their original containers.

Tell your participants that any chemical product or any product thas a signal word needs to be stored up high or in a locked cabinet.

This becomes really important as there are many products such as this cleaning product that look very similar to a product that you could drink.

Making sure that you are storing these items in the correct location can help to prevent poisoning in your home. Another important safe practice is to make sure that products are left in their original containers.

When productsare in their original containers we can see the label and were able to identify that this is for cleaning and that this is drinkable.

If products are moved out of their original containers that can be very confusing because someone might see a green liquid and assume that it's something they could drink when it really is a poisonous product.

An easy way to create an example for that is to take a bottle of water or fill water in a pop bottle and just mix some food coloring with that. This is probably good to do ahead of time.

Then when you go into a classroom you can tell the learners that if they ever see an unmarked container what should they do. Hopefully their response will be to make sure they tell a parent tell an adult and make sure that it gets moved and stored in the right location. If they say that they would smell it encourage that's not always the best practice in case that it is something toxic.

Again encourage them when they ever see an unmarked container that they shouldn't drink it.

They should tell an adult because we don't know if it is a Gatorade or a juice or is it a antifreeze, a cleaner, a windshield wiper fluid something that could be poisonous.Thus far we've talked about signal words, Mr. Yuk, and safe practices for chemicals around your home.

A really important part of the Poison Prevention Program is sharing the Mr. Yuk stickers. You can get these Mr. Yuk stickers from our office if you contact us to let us know that you were doing educational programming.

Encourage your learners to go home and share what they learned in this Poison Prevention Program with their families. Send them home with Mr. Yuk stickers so that they can go around the home find signal words and put Mr. Yuk on those products. We've even designed a homework sheet that can be helpful for that activity. Children will take this home and work with their parents to identify the signal words on products put a Mr. Yuk sticker on that product and also evaluate where they're storing that product.

For example they might find toilet bowl cleaner and see there's a danger signal word on it and then when they realize that they're storing the toilet bowl cleaner right by the toilet and it's not about five feet or it's not in a locked cabinet hopefully they will evaluate the storage and put it in a more appropriate and secure location.

where younger child cannot get to it. At the end of the program you can have your learners ask you questions or you can ask them questions about the material that you present it to them today. If you have time and depending on your age group you could also sing the Mr. Yuk song with your learners. That is the Poison prevention Program!

We hope that you feel confident and comfortable with presenting this program.

We gave you the structure with the three lesson objectives. Lesson objective number one understanding what is a pest.Lesson objective number two is learning about controlling pests in your home. Lesson objective number three is identifying signal words and knowing safe practices for chemicals around your home.

We encourage you to incorporate your own personal experiences and ideas. We've shown you lots of visuals that you can use that make adaptations depending on the age group that you might have, the time frame, and the area you may be doing a presentation in. We want you to make this presentation your own.

Remember if you have any questions or need any information you can always contact the Penn State Pesticide Education Program.

We're sure that your learners will be grateful to oversee the Poison Prevention Program from you.


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