Apart from playing a key role in formulating treatment plans for sick patients, poison control centers reduce overall healthcare costs by preventing unnecessary ER visits and hospitalizations. This conserves healthcare resources for those requiring it the most and has proven beneficial especially during the current pandemic.
Friday, September 25, 2020
Monday, September 21, 2020
September is Baby Safety Month. With children at home more than ever, it is even more important that medications and cleaners, just to name a few of the dangers lurking at home, are locked and stored up and away and out of sight of young children. Having babies in the home can be an exciting time. To keep your home safe and fun for the little ones, make sure to follow these important tips from the Texas Poison Center Network.
Poison Safety Tips
· First and foremost, pull out your cell phone and save this number, you never know when you might need it! Poison Center Help: 1-800-222-1222.
· When it comes to measuring medications for babies, always use measuring syringes or dropper provided with the medication from the pharmacist or doctor. Also, always make sure you give them the correct amount.
· Cleaning products, usually stored under cabinets, should be moved to another location that is out of sight and out of reach of young children.
· Remember, once your baby is crawling, he or she can get to anything on the floor. That means you want to ensure there are no dangers within reach (roach bait, rat poison, medications dropped by mistake, etc.)
· Medicine needs to be out of reach and locked up and away too. Is a purse or a nightstand a good place for your medications? Not with a baby or children around. Lock them up somewhere out of reach.
· Children’s medicines, like vitamins and cough syrup, can taste great to kids! If your child can get to these medicines, he or she may take the entire bottle. Keep all medicines locked up and out of reach.
· Check your yard for any poisonous plants or flowers too. You never know what babies will put in their mouth.
These are just a few important tips to help ensure your baby stays poison-free. For more information on poison control and tips for babysitters and more, please visit the Texas Poison Center Network website at www.poisoncontrol.org. And if you EVER find yourself or a loved one in a poison emergency, please do not hesitate to call us for help at 1-800-222-1222.
Sunday, September 13, 2020
Recently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a final limit on the amounts of arsenic in baby rice cereal. This is the first time the FDA has put any limits on any food that could contain arsenic.
It is widely known that white cereals with certain grains can sometimes contain arsenic, but rice cereals can be much higher. Rice cereals, due to their absorption rate, may contain up to ten times more of the heavy metal.
What is Arsenic?
According to the CDC, arsenic is a naturally occurring element that can combine with either inorganic or organic substances to form many different compounds. Simply stated, inorganic arsenic compounds can be found in soils, sediments, and groundwater. These compounds can happen either naturally or because of mining, smelting, or when using arsenic for industrial purposes. Organic arsenic compounds, on the other hand, are found primarily in fish and shellfish.
Here’s an interesting fact! Back in the day people used inorganic forms of arsenic in pesticides and paint pigment. People also used them thinking they were good for preserving woods as well a way to treat a variety of ailments. Luckily, we know better now and there are laws that restrict using arsenic-containing pesticides, wood preservatives, and medicines.
The Effects of Arsenic on Your Health
According to the CDC, large doses of inorganic arsenic can cause symptoms ranging from nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea to dehydration and shock. Long-term exposure can cause certain medical conditions such as skin disorders, high blood pressure, and even several types of cancer.
The FDA has now established a limit for inorganic arsenic of 100 parts per billion (ppb) in baby food. This is a voluntary limit and unenforceable currently. With the cooperation of makers of these products, we can hope to see arsenic completely out of baby foods. For more information on arsenic in food products, please visit the FDA link here.
If you or a loved one is experience symptoms like these, please reach out to the Texas Poison Center Network for guidance and help. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-222-1222.