Monday, October 2, 2023

Tips To Prevent Poisoning



When to Discuss Poison Prevention 

The topic of poison prevention can be brought up at any time: during family dinners, while driving your children to soccer practice, in conversation with older adults about their medications, at parent-teacher meetings, or at community events.

Safety Measures

Make sure all medicines, cleaning products, chemicals, and potential harmful cosmetics, such as nail varnish, are locked away, out of sight and out of reach of children.


Do not store medicines, cleaning products or chemicals near food items to avoid accidental ingestion.


Button batteries, found in watches and musical greeting cards can be easily swallowed.

Keep these batteries and the devices that use them out of children’s reach.


Never administer or take medicine in the dark to avoid incorrect dosages.


Keeping cigarettes and tobacco, and vaping equipment out of children’s reach. Also, avoid smoking or vaping in front of children.


Always store chemicals in their original containers. Never place medicines or chemicals,

Like weed killer in soft drink bottles.


Single use detergent pods or liquid laundry detergents are easily swallowed and dangerous. Keep them on a high shelf or in a similar location where young children cannot reach them.


Get a carbon monoxide alarm for each room of your home that contains appliances that burn gas, oil, coal, or wood.


For Halloween, remind children that it’s important for an adult to check all treats before they eat them. During the winter season, discuss with your friends and family the importance of keeping mistletoe out of the reach of young children and pets.

During National Poison Prevention Week, the third full week of March each year, consider partnering with your local poison center to educate your community about the risks of poisoning and how to prevent them.

Make sure everyone knows what to do if a poisoning happens: Right away call the toll-free Poison Help line (1-800-222-1222), which connects you to your local poison center.


Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Water Beads: Are they poisonous, dangerous or both?


Water beads have been around for quite a while now, mostly to keep household plants moist and as decoration in flower arrangements.  More recently, however, they have been marketed and sold as a sensory toy for children.  Water beads are made from super-absorbent polymers, which can bind with water or other fluids to grow 10 to 1500 times their own weight. Some beads are smaller than others when dry, but once placed in water, can get as big as a large marble. There are many different brands of colorful water beads, but they can all easily resemble candy, gum, or boba, making them attractive to swallow.   Even though they are labeled as non-toxic, they can be a hazard if swallowed because they are not digested by the human body.   

Swallowing water beads can be a choking hazard, and in large quantities, can cause life-threatening conditions.  The beads can absorb the fluid found in the stomach and expand to a size that might cause a blockage in the intestine.  A blockage can prevent fluids or food from passing through. It can take a few hours for a blockage to occur, as it takes time for the water beads to move through the digestive system and absorb fluids. Intestinal blockage often requires hospitalization and surgical removal of the water beads. The water beads are not always noticeable on x-rays or other imaging, so it is important to let doctors know if a person had access to or could have potentially swallowed water beads. 

Some of the warning signs of an intestinal blockage may include:  

·   Belly bloating, pain, discomfort, and/or anxiety

·   Trouble swallowing or refusing to eat

·   Nausea and vomiting                                                                        

·   Unable to pass stool or gas

·   Complaints that something is stuck in their throat or chest      

·   Increased drooling  

If water beads are placed in the nose, there is a risk of blockage of the nasal passage.  If placed in the ear, there is a risk of blockage of the ear canal once the beads expand. In both instances, this might require a trip to the pediatrician or emergency department for removal.  Water beads have the potential to cause significant damage to the structure of the ear leading to permanent hearing damage. 

If you have water beads at home, it is important to follow these simple prevention tips to help keep little ones safe. 

  Always supervise children when playing with water beads

  Only allow children to play with the expanded, wet beads (not in the smaller dry form)

  Follow the product age recommendations and keep them out of reach of younger siblings

  Remind older children not to put them in their mouth, nose, or ears

  Sweep or vacuum the play area after each use

  Store water beads in an air-tight container and out of reach and sight of children and pets

  If you believe that someone has swallowed water beads, call the poison center at 1-800-222-1222

  Review the Consumer Product Safety Commission website for additional information

Thursday, July 6, 2023

Bees, Wasps, & Hornets: How bad can they hurt me?

 Bees, Wasps, & Hornets: How bad can they hurt me?


Summer has arrived, school is out, and summer vacations are on. Many people are ready to spend their summer outside to enjoy the weather and participate in outdoor activities.   Although summer is synonymous with fun, it is critical to be aware of the dangers that surround youBees, wasps, and hornets are most active around midday during the summer monthsBelow are some precautions you can take to avoid being harmed. First, it’s important to know the differences and similarities between these insects. Bees are pollinators that are mostly active during early spring, but this does not mean they aren't out during the summer. Although there are various bee species, Honeybees are the most commonThey are crucial pollinators for the environmentMost of the time these bees are harmless but will sting you if they feel threatened.   

Bees are usually rounder and have yellow or amber fur all around their bodies. Wasps, on the other hand, are narrow-wasted insects that have no fur. They are predatory insects, since they feed off other insects as well as sugars. Like bees, wasps will only sting you if they feel threatened, so try to avoid hitting them or getting too close to them. Finally, hornets are another predatory insect like the wasp, but are way larger and more rounded. These hornets, like the others, could also sting, so it’s important to keep a safe distance, especially if don’t know if you are allergic 





How to avoid being stung by these insects?   

  • It is important to be aware of your surroundings, especially when you are outside.   

  • Avoid bee swarms and hives if at all possible.  

  • If your home gets infested by a bee swarm or you find a hive nearby, do not try to remove it yourself.  Get professional help right away. 

  • If you are attacked, run as fast as you can from the bees to avoid getting stung multiple timesMultiple stings can be dangerous and even deadly in some cases.    


Steps to take if you ever get stung by any of these insects:  

  • With a credit card, try to scrape off any stinger left in your skin. 

  • Remove any tight clothing or jewelry from the sting site in case the area swells.   

  • Do not scratch the area.   

  • Stay calm and look for symptoms you may experience   


You may experience one of the symptoms listed below:  

  • puncture wound  

  • pain at the bite or sting site  

  • swelling  

  • nausea  

  • headache  


If you experience any of the symptoms below, call the poison center right away or seek medical attention immediately (call 911). 

  • allergic reaction  

  • feeling faint  

  • evidence of infection such as fever, expanding redness, swelling, or pus  

  • sting to the eyeball  

  • decreased urine (or no urine)  



If you have questions about any insect bites or stings or have concerns about the symptoms you may be experiencing, call the poison center at 1-800-222-1222.