Poisoning Prevention in the Summer

Poison Prevention Tips

  • Be prepared.
    • Put the poison control number (1-800-222-1222, U.S. only) in, on or near your phone.
    • Save  as a browser favorite (webPOISONCONTROL.org).
  • Store medicines and products in their original containers.
  • Topical pain relievers for sunburn often contain anesthetics - pain relievers that can cause seizures if swallowed. Make sure they are in child resistant containers and kept out of reach of small children.
  • Foraging in the woods?  Camping out? Don’t eat it unless you are certain you know that plant! Plant look-alikes can fool the best of us. For example, wild carrots or parsnips resemble hemlock.
  • Avoid wild mushrooms. Get your mushrooms from the market. Only experts can tell the poisonous ones from the safe ones. The most toxic mushrooms, called “death caps” (Amanita species) may be growing in your own yard. Just a few bites can cause fatal liver damage.
  • Keep poison ivy out of your camp fire! The smoke from burning poison ivy contains the toxic oils, causing blisters inside your nose, throat and airways.
  • Bitten by a snake? Avoid tourniquets and suction. Call poison control for guidance.
  • Barbecue safety: Charcoal lighter fluid is dangerous if swallowed. It easily seeps into the lungs. Keep lighter fluid and other hydrocarbons (gasoline, kerosene, paint thinner, lamp oil, baby oil, furniture polish) away from kids!
  • Keep the alcoholic drinks away from children! Alcohol causes a child’s blood sugar to drop, leading to seizures, coma and even death.
  • Mind the medicines when you travel or have visitors in your home. Suitcases or purses may contain dangerous medications, often without even a child-resistant closure.
  • Picnic safety: Keep cold foods cold, in a cooler and in the shade. Do not consume perishable foods that have been left out for more than two hours – or more than one hour if the temperature is over 90 °F.
  • Avoid areas sprayed with a pesticide until the pesticide has dried for at least one hour.

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Learn the Poison Help jingle in English or Spanish. Use these jingles to teach the Poison Control number: 1-800-222-1222. Available for download.


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