The Texas Poison Center blog is here to provide useful information and tips on dealing with toxins and poisons that we are sometimes unintentionally exposed to in or out of the home. This blog is not meant to replace calling a Poison Control Center. Poison centers offer free medical advice 24 hours a day, seven days a week through the Poison Help Line at 1-800-222-1222.
batteries can be found in a variety of electronic devices including many toys
that children receive during the holidays. Things like wristwatches,
calculators, toys and even recorded Christmas cards all use button batteries.
Unfortunately, their small size means that they can be easily swallowed by
Texas Poison Center Network wants you to know that button batteries are the
most harmful type of battery for young children if swallowed. They can get
stuck in the esophagus, leading to serious injury and is the leading cause of
death by ingestion. Poison control centers across the United States report that
about 3,500 button batteries are swallowed each year.
symptoms of battery ingestion include vomiting, abdominal pain, fever,
diarrhea, difficulty breathing and swallowing. Many times, swallowed batteries
pass through the intestines and safely exit the body. This is not always the
case, however, as they can easily get lodged in the esophagus.
stuck in the throat cause an electric current and can leak corrosive chemicals,
like alkaline electrolyte, that can cause internal damage. When this happens, a
buildup of the chemical hydroxide may occur, causing dangerous burns within a
couple of hours. Unfortunately, the damage caused can continue long after the
battery is removed.
your child ingests a battery, this is what you should do:
call your poison center at
immediately if someone:
Has a seizure.
batteries can be dangerous. Search your home for devices that may contain
button batteries. Secure button battery-controlled devices out of reach of
children and keep loose batteries locked away.
information, call your local poison center at 1-800-222-1222.
Poison centers are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the
year for poisoning emergencies and for informational calls, too.
Brrrr….the weather is getting colder and holiday festivities
are alive and well. This time of year brings lots of joy, but it can also bring
nausea, vomiting or other bodily reactions if you aren’t careful. The Texas
Poison Center Network wants to help you avoid any unintentional poisonings this
time of year, so please check out our holiday poison safety tips below!
·Most important: Wash Your Hands! Whenever you
are preparing food, it is so important to wash your hands before, during and
after to prevent food poisoning.
·Make sure to cook food well to reduce potential
poisoning- poultry-180 degrees F, beef-160 degrees F and pork-160 degrees F.Cover and reheat leftovers to 165 degrees F
·Keep foods that need to be cold or hot at the
right temperature. If food is left out at room temperature for more than two
hours, bacteria can grow and sickness can ensue.
·Never use unvented fuel-burning devices in a
home or apartment.CO poisoning can occur. Read our blog on CO poison safety here.
·Remember, contaminated food is not always
obvious. If you are unsure if an item is still ok to eat, it is probably best
to throw it out. Safety first!
Some ornaments are made of very thin metal or glass. If a child were to ingest
part of an ornament, it could potentially cause choking or worse. Practice
safety first when choosing ornaments to use on your tree with little ones in
Gift Wrap: Overall,
gift wrapping paper is pretty safe. But it is possible for some colored gift
wrap or foil to contain lead. Don’t let babies chew on paper as a precaution.
these plants are a holiday favorite, ingesting very large amounts of this plant
might cause a mild stomach ache. The sap on the plant can also cause a skin
rash, so when handling these plants, make sure to wash your hands with soap and
While these berries are visually appealing, if ingested they can cause a
stomach ache, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Keep these berries out of reach of
Mistletoe: If this
plant is ingested, it will leave you feeling pretty terrible as the plant does
contain toxic substances. Common symptoms of poisoning from this plant include
vomiting, diarrhea and stomach ache.
Remember, as always, if you or someone you know has been
potentially poisoned, please do not hesitate to contact the Poison Control
hotline at 1-800-222-1222. We hope everyone has a safe holiday season!
Each year in
America, carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning claims more than 500 lives and sends
roughly 40,000 people to hospital emergency rooms for treatment.While these numbers are scary, there are ways to prevent CO
So as the weather turns chilly
throughout much of the country, the Texas Poison Center Network wants to remind
everyone to have a professional inspection of all fuel-burning heating systems
- including furnaces, boilers, fireplaces, water heaters and space heaters - to
detect any potentially deadly carbon monoxide (CO) leaks in your home.
Did you know that under certain conditions, all appliances that burn fuels can
leak deadly CO? These fuels include kerosene; oil; coal; both natural and
liquefied petroleum gas; and wood. By having a professional inspection of your
fuel-burning heating appliances, you will be ahead of the game in protecting
your family from the silent killer, CO poisoning.
Make sure the professional inspection includes checking chimneys, flues and
vents for leakage and blockage by debris. Birds, other animals and insects
sometimes can nest in vents and block exhaust gases, causing the gases to enter
the home. In addition, all vents to furnaces, water heaters, boilers and other
fuel-burning heating appliances should be checked to make sure they are not
loose or disconnected.
WHAT IS CARBON
Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless and toxic gas. Because it is
impossible to see, taste or smell the toxic fumes, CO can kill you before you
are aware it is in your home. At lower levels of exposure, CO causes mild
effects that are often mistaken for the flu. These symptoms include headaches,
dizziness, disorientation, nausea and fatigue.
PROTECT YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY FROM CO POISONING
Install at least one UL (Underwriters Laboratories) listed carbon monoxide alarm with an audible warning signal near the sleeping areas and outside individual bedrooms. Carbon monoxide alarms measure levels of CO over time and are designed to sound an alarm before an average, healthy adult would experience symptoms. It is very possible that you may not be experiencing symptoms when you hear the alarm. This does not mean that CO is not present.
Never use your range or oven to help heat your home and never use a charcoal grill or hibachi in your home or garage.
Never keep a car running in a garage. Even if the garage doors are open, normal circulation will not provide enough fresh air to reliably prevent a dangerous buildup of CO.
When purchasing an existing home, have a qualified technician evaluate the integrity of the heating and cooking systems, as well as the sealed spaces between the garage and house.
WHAT ACTIONS DO I TAKE IF MY CARBON MONOXIDE ALARM GOES OFF?
If no one is feeling ill:
1.Silence the alarm. 2.Turn off all appliances and sources of
combustion (i.e. furnace and fireplace). 3.Ventilate the house with fresh air by
opening doors and windows. 4.Call a qualified professional to
investigate the source of the possible CO buildup. If illness is a factor:
1.Evacuate all occupants
immediately. 2.Determine how many occupants are ill and
determine their symptoms. 3.Call 9-1-1 and when relaying information
to the dispatcher, include the number of people feeling ill. 4.Do not re-enter the home without the
approval of a fire department representative. 5.Call a qualified professional to repair
the source of the CO. Here’s One
In Temple on October 29th, a family sat down to eat dinner.Their CO detector went off, so they
immediately evacuated the house and called 911.The Temple fire department responded and went through the house and
tested the levels of CO.They determined
that the levels of CO in the house were so high that it could have killed or
severely injured the family very quickly.They lived in a rental property and the source was their stove….but the
thing that saved them was a working CO detector.
Remember: Carbon monoxide poisoning IS
preventable! Make sure to protect yourself and your family by being prepared
and aware. If you think you might have carbon monoxide poisoning, please call
the Poison Control Network at 1-800-222-1222.
If someone is having life threatening reactions, please do not hesitate to