Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Be smart while having Fun: Halloween Safety 2015

It’s a spooktacular time of year! A time for trick or treating, pumpkin carving and costume wearing fun! What am I talking about? Halloween of course! Here at the Texas Poison Center Network (TPCN), we want you to enjoy your Halloween festivities but we also want you to stay safe!
The TPCN offers parents the following safety tips to help prevent exposures and injuries on Halloween:

Candy and treats:

·         Inspect all candy for any signs of tampering (tears, pinholes, discoloration, etc.) before eating or allowing children to eat.

·         Check all candy and edibles for choking hazards.

·         Children should avoid eating homemade treats from strangers, and any treats that may contain marijuana or other drugs. If you suspect a child has consumed candy containing a drug, call 1-800-222-1222 for immediate assistance.


·         Test face makeup in a small area of skin first (preferably on the arm) to check for allergic reaction before applying it to the face. Avoid decorating the face or body with products that aren’t intended for the skin.

·         Avoid the eye area when applying costume makeup to the face, as well as remove makeup before bedtime to prevent eye and/or skin irritation.

·         Throw out any makeup that has a very bad smell; this could be a sign of contamination.

Remember the TPCN is here to provide free and confidential information and treatment advice 24-hours per day, seven days a week, including holidays! If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at 1-800-222-1222.

Check out our Halloween Poem below and have a fantastic and HAPPY HALLOWEEN!


Thursday, October 22, 2015

National Health Education Week: Being Aware of Poison Control Services

It’s National Public Education Week, a time when national attention is brought to the forefront on major public health issues as well as a time to promote consumers’ understanding of health education and the importance of staying informed. This year’s theme is Health Education: Past, Present, and Future.

There are various ways you can help poison control centers promote poison control services! If you are in the health industry, try reaching out to your local poison center to work on collaboration efforts (here is a link to the Texas Poison Center Network: Public health partnerships help expand resources and increase knowledge thus creating a healthier nation. That equals a win-win!
You can also share facts and information with friends, family and colleagues on poison center resources. Parents play a critical role in helping their tweens learn about the responsible use of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines. With approximately 10,000 kids under age 18 visiting emergency departments every year due to errors from self-administering OTC medications, it is important for parents and guardians to discuss the safe use and storage of OTC medicines with their tweens.

For example, did you know in 2013, America’s poison centers managed over 250,000 exposure cases involving children? Over fifty percent of these cases involved medication errors or misuse. These numbers can decrease as long as we increase our knowledge regarding over the counter medications.

Remember that poison centers are staffed with experts such as doctors, nurses, pharmacists and even toxicologists who are waiting to answer your call for help. They can answer anything from general questions about medicines to concerns about a potential poisoning. Save the number in your phone now so you have it when you need it: 1-800-222-1222. You can call anytime from anywhere in the United States.

In today’s world, health education is more critical than ever. That’s why the Texas Poison Center Network wants you to know that there are FREE services available to you to help you with your health needs and poison concerns. Poison center educators can provide presentations for all ages at a variety of locations and they also can exhibit at health fairs and other educational events.  To contact an educator in your area just click here- Don’t hesitate to reach out and make sure your friends, family and colleagues are aware of these services too. It could save a life.