Friday, December 17, 2021

Holiday Hazards to Look Out For and Tips on How to Stay Safe, from the Texas Poison Center Network


As you prepare to celebrate the winter holidays this season, remember to keep safety in mind, especially when it comes to potential poisonings. If you follow these tips, you can help ensure you have a poison-free holiday!

Poison Proof Your Home

Secure all medicines, cleaning products, and personal care products by putting them up high, locked- up, and out of sight and out of reach. This includes items in purses, backpacks, and other regularly accessed places that kids might look through curiously.

Beware of Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide is a silent killer. Remember never to use a gas stovetop, gas oven, or charcoal grill indoors for heat. Also, make sure to keep any flammables away from floor furnaces. Make sure you have carbon monoxide detectors in your home and change out the batteries twice a year. It could save your life!

Button Batteries

Some toys and gifts can have flat, coin-shaped batteries, usually called button batteries. These can be very dangerous if swallowed. They can cause serious internal injuries. Keep all batteries locked- up and out of sight.

Food Safety

It is always essential to take precautions to prevent food poisoning. Always wash your hands before and after handling food. Ensure all counters and cooking utensils, such as cutting boards, are kept free of germs by spraying them down with a kitchen cleaner or using soap and hot water. Lastly, make sure not to leave food sitting out too long. Make sure to put leftover food away in the refrigerator to be safely eaten later.

Traveling this Holiday

If you plan to travel this holiday season, use this guide from the CDC before you go.

Before you travel:

•            Research your destination's COVID-19 restrictions.

•            Plan to meet any testing or vaccination requirements for travel.

During travel:

•            Wear a mask and pack extras for your trip.

•            Practice safety steps like washing your hands often and choosing safer options like outdoor visits with family.

•            Isolate and follow guidance if you get COVID-19 on your trip.

Call your local poison center in Texas at 1-800-222-1222 for help with a potential poisoning or questions regarding poisons. Trained pharmacists and nurses can help 24-hours a day, seven days a week.  Never hesitate to call! 

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

TPCN SPI SPOTLIGHT: Cesar Delgadillo, BSN, CSPI

 


Meet Cesar Delgadillo!

"I live in El Paso, Texas with my wife, 4 kids, 3 dogs, (Chihuahua mix female, Yorkie male, & Schnauzer male) & 2 female Cockatiel birds.  I am a first-generation college graduate, the first in my family to go to college, and a culinary school dropout."

"If I could live anywhere in the world, it would probably be somewhere with no traffic, off-grid, in a cabin somewhere by a nice forest for a summer."

What motivates you to work hard? 

"To serve the public, help those in need."

Favorite thing about your career?

"It puts a smile on my face when we make a positive impact in someone's life."

Do you prefer reading or movies? 

"I prefer to watch movies for entertainment."

Favorite sport or sports team?

"Dallas Cowboys!"

Have you learned anything new since we have been quarantined at home during COVID that you enjoy? 

"I learned I enjoy having 6 feet of separation (social distancing). I don't like people up in my personal space!

Favorite hobby when you are not working?

I like smoking on my days off.... Brisket, Chicken Wings, Pork, and Barbacoa.


Friday, November 5, 2021

Cough Medicines and Children: What You Need to Know

When our children get sick, we want to do everything we can to make them feel better. Many times, the first thing we think of is to give them medications to treat their symptoms. But what is the best treatment for your child if they have a cough or cold? According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), you should not give children younger than two years of age cough or cold medication, as it could do more harm than good.

A recent report by the Pediatric Cough and Cold Safety Surveillance System, which tracks fatal child poisonings, found 40 deaths linked to medications. Of these medications, they found that the most concerning ones contained diphenhydramine, a common antihistamine found in cough medicines. This medication has a tendency to make people tired, but when given to young children, it can sometimes have an adverse reaction and act as a stimulant.

Medications with antihistamines should not be given to young children because there is very little evidence suggesting that it helps their cough or cold, and instead can cause dangerous side effects. For that reason, it is usually best for parents and caregivers to let the cough or cold run its course instead of using cough or cold over-the-counter (OTC) medications.

If you are concerned your child is not getting better, please contact your health care provider for more information. If you think your child might have accidentally taken too much medication or is having an adverse reaction to anything taken, please do not hesitate to call the Texas Poison Center Network at 1-800-222-1222. Nurses and pharmacists are available to answer your calls around the clock for anything involving poisons.  They are always there to help you when you need it the most. 

Friday, October 15, 2021

What You Should Know When It Comes to Ivermectin Use in People

Since the pandemic started, people have been trying their best to stay healthy and not catch COVID-19. In recent months there has been a lot of information shared online and within the media about the use of ivermectin in humans. Some information is factual while other information is not. In this blog, we cover the basics of ivermectin and what you should know.

What is Ivermectin?

Ivermectin is a medication primarily used in animals to kill parasites in the stomach. Many states require a prescription to purchase it, but in Texas, you can find this at a local feed store for horses and cattle (these are NOT approved for human use). When it comes to the use of this drug in humans, ivermectin is only FDA-approved as a prescription antiparasitic that assists in treating river blindness, strongyloidiasis, and onchocerciasis. A topical form can also be used to treat rosacea and head lice. Currently, it is not approved for the treatment of COVID-19.

Since the use of ivermectin for COVID-19 has been circling the internet, many have purchased ivermectin for use. The Texas Poison Center Network has received many calls. Some cases have resulted in severe toxicity. Toxicity can cause these symptoms:

·       Nausea and Vomiting

·       Diarrhea

·       Headache

·       Dizziness and Fatigue

·       Visual Changes

·       Skin Rashes

·       Low Blood Pressure

      Fast Heart Rate

In more severe cases, it can cause coma, seizures, hallucinations, and tremors. So, what is causing individuals to overdose on ivermectin? If you were to purchase ivermectin at a feed store, it might come in a paste format (usually flavored, too!). Keep in mind, this paste format is highly concentrated. Ivermectin is made for a horse or cow, weighing practically a ton more than the average human being. High doses such as this, when used in humans, are highly toxic.

If you or a loved one has come in contact with ivermectin, please reach out to the poison center for help. We have nurses and pharmacists who answer the phone around the clock. Take the time to save this number on your phone: 1-800-222-1222

Thursday, August 26, 2021

The Dangers Associated with Blue-Green Algae

Recently, there has been more concern regarding blue-green algae and its effects on pets and, specifically, children. Blue-green algae can be found in standing water, like lakes, ponds, and other water systems known to be more stagnant.

What is Blue-Green Algae?

Blue-green algae, also called cyanobacteria, grows in various bodies of water, especially nutrient-rich water. They get their name from their ability to create blooms so thick that it resembles blue-green paint covering the top of the water.

There are two forms of this type of algae (Anabaena and Microcystis) in Texas. Both conditions can cause taste and odor problems in the water. They also create toxins that are poisonous to fish and various other wildlife that drink the contaminated water. There have also been some occurrences of humans getting sick from insufficiently treated water.

It is best to avoid contact with water with visible algal growth.   Swimming in contaminated water and potentially swallowing it can be hazardous. If you are exposed, make sure to wash it off the skin thoroughly and dry the area as soon as possible.  

What are common symptoms of Blue-Green Algae poisoning?

If you suspect someone has ingested or come in contact with blue-green algae, don't hesitate to get in touch with the experts at the Texas Poison Center Network by calling 1-800-222-1222.

Common symptoms can include:

·       Headache

·       Stomach pains

·       Skin, eyes, nose, and throat irritation

·       Vomiting and diarrhea

·       Muscle weakness

·       Dizziness

For more information on blue-green algae and other poisonous substances, please visit the Texas Poison Center Network website at www.poisoncontrol.org

Friday, July 16, 2021

Dry Scooping and Why It is Not a Good Idea


A new challenge has surfaced on the internet having to do with a term called dry scooping. Various people on the internet have recorded themselves doing this as a challenge and then posting it on TikTok. This challenge is dangerous and not worth trying for likes or views. Here is what it is all about:

What is dry scooping?

Dry scooping It refers to taking a scoop of pre-workout powder (or sometimes protein powder) that is meant to be mixed with water, putting the scoop in their mouths, and swallowing it.

What are the potential concerns?

Worst case scenario, and it has already happened, is that it could kill you. When you’re consuming a concentrated blend of multiple ingredients, it is hard to tell how your body will react. Ingredients such as caffeine, creatine, B-vitamins, NO2-boosters, taurine, and branch chain amino acids, contribute to the potential dangers of this challenge. These individual ingredients can be safe in healthy people when taken as directed, meaning they've taken in the recommended serving and preparation.

However, even common ingredients such as caffeine can be a danger if taken in excess, causing jitteriness, an upset stomach, and an elevated heart rate, especially when taken undiluted and/or in greater amounts than directed.

There is no benefit to dry scooping, and individuals should refrain from attempting this TikTok challenge.

What if I try this and have unwanted effects?

If someone feels ill in any way after trying this challenge or any other social media challenge, do not hesitate to contact the poison center for help. All calls are answered by pharmacists, nurses, and toxicologists 24/7, seven days a week. Call us at 1-800-222-1222 and let us help you with your poison needs.

 

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Pool Chemicals Should Always Be Kept Out of Reach


To keep pools clean, pool chemicals are added to the water to remove germs and bacteria. While these chemicals assist in keeping the water healthy for recreational use, they can be extremely dangerous if they are not handled or appropriately stored up and away from children.

Pool chemicals, such as chlorine and bromine, are added to protect swimmers from the spread of germs and prevent outbreaks. Other pool chemicals help disinfect, improve water quality, stop corrosion and scaling of equipment, and protect against algal growth. Keep in mind, pool chemicals can injure people when mixed, when not used according to label instructions, or when appropriate personal protective equipment is not used.

Here are some valuable tips to makes sure you and your family stay safe this summer and avoid chemical pool injuries.

·       Keep chemicals away from children by storing them up and away from a child’s reach.

 

·       When handling pool chemicals dress appropriately by wearing safety goggles and gloves or other protective gear.

 

·       Make sure you are in a well-ventilated area so that you do not breathe in any toxic fumes.

 

·       Follow the directions on the products exactly to minimize exposure or chemical accidents.

 

Remember, if you come in contact with pool chemicals or believe you might have been poisoned, please contact the poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. For more information on pool chemical safety, please visit the CDC’s website at https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming/index.html.