CHICAGO — The Illinois Poison Center says it fielded almost 82,000 calls for help in 2012. That's down from nearly 87,000 a year earlier.
The center said in a news release Wednesday that almost 74,000 of the 2012 calls were for advice on treating someone actually exposed to a potentially harmful substance.
Center officials say calls may have dropped off because more people are seeking information online and because of federal funding cuts that led the Poison Center to scale back some operations.
More than 47 percent of the calls were from someone trying to help a child younger than five years old.
Center officials noted that calls about sedatives and antipsychotics have become much more common in recent years. They're now the source of more calls than any substance besides painkillers.