Mr. Yuk was created by the Pittsburgh Poison Center at the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh in 1971. The goal was to create an eye-catching symbol that would alert children to harmful substances and create awareness for the 24-hour emergency hotline at the poison control center. Several symbols were tested, but it was the neon green Mr. Yuk that children loathed most, with one child labeling him "yucky."
Mr. Yuk was created to replace the common skull and crossbones symbol previously used to identify poisons after research indicated that it had little meaning to children who equate the symbol with exciting things like pirates and adventure.
Even with the widespread use of Mr. Yuk stickers, more than 4 million accidental poisonings are reported in the U.S. each year. Sixty-five percent of those involve children. The most common forms of poisoning among small children are vitamins, aspirins, cleaning and beauty supplies. Pets can be accidentally poisoned as well, and many poison control centers will handle those calls as well.
Free Mr. Yuk Stickers:
To request a free sheet of Mr. Yuk stickers, please send a self-addressed stamped business size envelope to:
Pittsburgh Poison Center
Childrens Hospital of Pittsburgh
3705 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-2583