We all know that OnStar can indeed be handy for making a last-minute reservation, that it's proved invaluable in helping police track stolen vehicles (or stop thieves in their tracks as operators remotely shut down engine function), and that it's saved lives by alerting authorities when airbags deploy and crash sensors are triggered. But OnStar as a backseat nanny, helping rush junior to the clinic after getting into the Rid-O-Rat on the way home from the supermarket?
As surprising as this sounds (at least to someone without kids), OnStar actually does receive about one call per day concerning in-car poisonings. Victims are typically small children and pets. Given the volume of calls, GM's OnStar felt it would be wise to provide callers with the best possible assistance to avert disaster, and so they partnered with Poison Control to give OnStar callers the quickest possible connection to the experts.
The Poison Control access is a no-cost extension of OnStar's emergency services line, which is included in the one-year subscription standard on all GM vehicles equipped with OnStar.
Poison Control claim that the biggest risks for in-vehicle poisoning are children getting into medication or toxic household products. They've also gotten a number of calls concerning kids who've consumed the toxic silica gel packets used to keep shoes and other packaged products moisture-free. With pets, the big risks seem to be consumption of oil, antifreeze, and foodstuffs toxic to animals such as chocolate and certain nuts.